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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 1:40pm
EL PASO — The woman shot in the leg in Tuesday morning's cross-border shooting has been identified as 48-year-old Maria Romero.
Romero was shopping in downtown El Paso around 11 a.m. that morning when her lower leg was struck by a stray bullet police said came from a gun-battle happening in Juarez. Police and emergency crew officials responded within two minutes of the shots fired call, according to Mayor John Cook, and she was transported to University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. She was released the same day.
Believing a gunman might be on the loose, officers began to secure the area and notify area schools. As a precautionary measure, school personnel elected to place Hart Elementary, Aoy Elementary and Guillen Middle schools on lockdown until it could be determined the area was safe. Early on, it became evident this may have been a stray bullet rather than a targeted shooting in downtown. While officers were initially responding and controlling the scene, officers learned the El Paso 911 center had received numerous calls advising of shots fired near the border in Juarez, Mexico.
The preliminary investigation indicates the bullet was likely fired during a gunfight between local Mexican police and car-jacking suspects at the intersection of La Avenida Malecon and Tepeyac in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The El Police Department continues its investigation and is working closely with its counterparts in Mexico.