By Steve Neavling
The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments today in a case involving a Border Patrol agent who fatally shot an unarmed 15-year-old across the border with Mexico.
The big legal question: Can the family of the teenager sue an agent for damages in the U.S.?
The shooting occurred between El Paso and Juarez. There have been 42 cross-border shootings between 2005 and 2013, marking a big increase over previous time periods, NPR reports.
In June 2010, Sergio Hernández and his friends were playing chicken, daring each other to run up the incline on the U.S. side and touch the fence, according briefs filed by lawyers for the Hernández family.
At some point U.S. border agent Jesus Mesa, patrolling the culvert, arrived on a bicycle, grabbed one of the kids at the fence on the U.S. side, and the others scampered away. Fifteen-year-old Sergio ran past Mesa and hid behind a pillar beneath the bridge on the Mexican side.
As the boy peeked out, Agent Mesa, 60 feet or so away on the U.S. side, drew his gun, aimed it at the boy, and fired three times, the last shot hitting the boy in the head.
Although agents quickly swarmed the scene, they are forbidden to cross the border. They did not offer medical aid, and soon left on their bikes, according to lawyers for the family.