‘Oye – They Shot Me’: Campaign Worker Shot Near South Texas Polling Station
A man was shot near a polling station in San Juan, Texas while campaigning for a local candidate, The Monitor reports.
Witnesses said Jose Sanchez, 55, was shot in the leg by a passing vehicle at roughly 11 a.m. while holding a campaign sign for constable candidate Hector “JoJo” Mendez in front of a polling station at the San Juan Fire Station No. 2 on Texas’ primary day.
Police are searching for the shooter, reportedly driving a red Chevy pick-up truck, who fled the scene. Sanchez was rushed to a nearby hospital where police said he is in stable condition after a bullet fragment had been removed from his leg.
San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez didn’t reveal what type of weapon the bullet that struck Sanchez was shot from, however, he did tell The Monitor of McAllen, Texas that “it might be from a high powered airsoft weapon, like a pellet gun.”
Motive has not been determined and it is unclear whether the shooting and the local elections are related. San Juan is located less than 20 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We don’t know what exactly the motive was,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to be a long day, this election day.”
The Monitor captured some additional eyewitness testimony:
“He said ‘Oye—they shot me,’” said Leticia Rodriguez, who was campaigning for Mendez’s opponent Martin “Marty” Cantu and helping Sanchez put up a tent shortly before the incident.
“Why him? Why?” she said. “I’ve been here for two weeks and this is the first time he’s come.”
Witness Ramiro Treviño said he didn’t hear the shot, but saw Sanchez stumble from the side of the street where he had been waving a Mendez sign.
“He fell down and then they sat him down,” Treviño said. “I don’t know if it was a pellet gun or a .22, but it was a small caliber thing. There was some bleeding. I pulled up his pant leg and pulled down his sock.”
Mendez, the candidate who’s sign Sanchez was holding, told The Monitor he was going to the hospital and his campaign would try to assist with any medical needs. He also encouraged voters not to let the incident scare them out of casting their ballots.
“The people who want to come out and vote—they could feel threatened,” Mendez said. He also urged everyone to “not to be afraid to go out and vote.”
Mendez’s opponent in the constable race is Martin “Marty” Cantu. He had not released a statement regarding the shooting as of 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
The polling location stayed open following the incident and remained open for the remainder of the day, according to The Associated Press.
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