SAN DIEGO - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent shot at a suspected carjacker as he fled into Mexico on Saturday, prompting authorities to temporarily close the busy Otay Mesa crossing to southbound passenger vehicles.
The agent fired one shot shortly after a carjacking was reported adjacent to the San Ysidro gate, about five miles to the west, authorities said.
At about 9:15 a.m., a man allegedly forced a woman in her 30s and her 7-year-old son from a running silver Toyota Tacoma pickup truck at the duty-free store in the 4500 block of Border Village Drive as the woman's husband was inside the business, according to San Diego police.
The suspect, who was described as a heavyset Hispanic man in his 30s, opened the driver's side door, got behind the wheel and told the mother and son to get out, police officials said.
The woman was able to get out with her son, but was dragged a short distance and sustained minor leg injuries, police said. The boy was not injured.
The carjacker then sped from Interstate 5 to eastbound state Route 905.
Patrol officers spotted the pickup truck and tried to stop it, San Diego police Lt. Manuel Del Toro said. The suspect initially followed orders, but then took off with officers close behind, he said.
The pickup truck traveled five miles east on state Route 905 to the Otay Mesa gate, where agents attempted to stop it. The suspect then drove toward the agents, Del Toro said.
One of the agents fired a shot at the pickup truck as it reached the crossing without stopping, police said. The bullet struck the pickup truck, but the driver did not appear to have been injured and continued into the La Mesa
neighborhood of busy Tijuana, according to Del Toro.
The suspect was then chased for a distance by Mexican authorities, but was ultimately able to escape, Del Toro said. The truck was later found abandoned in Tijuana, he said.
None of the law enforcement officers involved in the incident were injured, Del Toro said.
The southbound Otay Mesa auto route into Baja California was initially closed to vehicles, but the truck scales and crossing into Mexico remained open, according to Caltrans. Northbound inspection gates remained open, as did north and southbound pedestrian lanes. No restrictions were reported at San Ysidro or Otay East crossings.
Caltrans officials said shortly after 1 p.m. the southbound border crossing had been reopened.
The incident was not apparently connected to Friday's Los Angeles kidnapping of a boy whose father was believed taking him illegally to Mexico. The Amber Alert continued Saturday, police said.
Del Toro asked anyone with information to call police at (619) 531-2293, or to contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.