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Hundreds of rounds of automatic weapons fire rained down on South Texas sheriff’s deputies and Border Patrol agents in Hidalgo County last night from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.

The deputies were answering a call from two U.S. citizens who swam across the river to escape a gunfight at a Mexican ranch, reports the Monitor newspaper of the Rio Grande Valley. The two American brothers are suspects in other criminal investigations, said Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevi?o, according to the report.

The brothers reportedly called 911 at 7:45 p.m. saying gunmen burst into their family ranch in Mexico, killed a ranch hand and kidnapped their father. The brothers were able to make it across the river to the U.S. where they continued to attract gunfire – even after law enforcement authorities arrived.

When several deputies and four Border Patrol agents took the two brothers back to the riverbank to see if they might find any evidence or the shooters, they were met with a hail of gunfire – alternating from the south and east, suggesting some of the shots were also fired from U.S. territory.

The fire continued for almost 10 minutes, according to authorities.

Trevi?o says his deputies have never been shot at from the Mexican side of the river.

“This is one of the reasons that I do not allow my deputies to patrol the riverbanks or levies close to the river,” Trevi?o told the Monitor, “because we do know there are drug gangs and human trafficking gangs that will not hesitate to shoot in our direction to get us out of the area.”

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