staff and news service reports
updated 5/18/2006 10:10:12 PM ET 2006-05-19T02:10:12

Authorities shut down a busy U.S.-Mexico border crossing Thursday after U.S. authorities shot and killed the driver of a car headed for Mexico, officials said.

The shooting occurred on southbound Interstate 5 around 3:30 p.m. about 50 feet north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the world's busiest border crossing, which links Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego.

The driver, who not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were trying to stop a black SUV that was under surveillance for suspected immigrant smuggling.

A motorist said that a federal agent rapped on the vehicle's window with his baton, but the driver accelerated and the agent opened fire.

Anna Valderrama, of Tijuana, who was about four vehicles back when the shooting occurred, said she counted four passengers in the vehicle. There were no immediate reports of any other injuries.

The black Dodge Durango sat in the middle of the road with a shattered driver's side window.

The California Highway Patrol sealed off southbound access to the border and rush-hour traffic backed up more than a mile.

This developing story will be updated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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