May 7, 2023 –Seven people have been killed in the US state of Texas after a car struck a group at a bus stop close to a shelter for the homeless and migrants.
The incident happened in the city of Brownsville near the Mexican border at about 08:30 local time (14:30 GMT).
At least six other people were been injured, some of them critically.
The driver has been arrested and charged. Brownsville police say it is not clear whether the incident was intentional.
Earlier US media reports quoted police as saying it appeared to be a deliberate attack.
The director of the nearby Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, Victor Maldonado, said surveillance footage showed an SUV that “ran the light that was about a hundred feet away and just went through the people who were sitting there in the bus stop”.
He told the Associated Press that most of the victims were Venezuelan men.
Lieutenant Martin Sandoval of the Brownsville Police Department told local media that the driver had also been taken to hospital for treatment and was undergoing drug and alcohol tests.
According to US border protection officials, the city of Brownsville has recently seen a sharp increase in illegal migrant arrivals.
Mr Maldonado told local media quoted by AP that in the past two months the Ozanam Center, an overnight shelter that can hold up to 250 people, has been handling up to 380 people a day.
“I’ve had a couple of people come by the gate and tell the security guard that the reason this happened was because of us,” Mr Maldonado told KRGV-TV.
Officials in Brownsville issued a disaster declaration last month, following other Texas border cities that have done the same.
That’s ahead of an anticipated influx of migrants due to the upcoming expiry of a Covid-era policy that allowed the US to automatically expel undocumented migrants.