Group demands Texas chopper shooting investigation

Associated Press
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FILE - In a Friday Oct. 26, 2012 file photo, a truck travels along the stretch of gravel road near La Joya, Texas, where a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter and sharpshooter assisted the previous day in the chase of a suspected illegal immigrant smuggler. Two people in the fleeing vehicle were killed and a third was wounded. A grand jury will consider the case of two Guatemalan immigrants killed in the bed of the tarp-covered truck that authorities thought was ferrying drugs, a prosecutor said Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Sherman, File)

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) — A civil rights group is demanding an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of two suspected illegal immigrants by a Texas state trooper from a helicopter.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas made its demand in a letter to Director Steve McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety, released Thursday.

It says, "If the facts as reported are true, this use of deadly force was illegal and unconstitutional."

A trooper aboard a DPS helicopter fired at a fleeing truck in an effort to disable it on Oct. 25. Nine Guatemalan immigrants were in the truck, six hidden under a tarp in the bed. Three were wounded, two fatally.

The letter demands an investigation by "an agency that is not under the umbrella of the Texas DPS."