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U.S. motorist killed at Mexican military checkpoint

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U.S. motorist killed at Mexican military checkpoint

  • A Mexican military checkpoint in 2009.
    bretkuhns/FlickrA Mexican military checkpoint in 2009.

A U.S. citizen was killed Sunday in a checkpoint confrontation with the Mexican military, officials say.

Joseph Steven Proctor, 32, may have fired at the Mexican troops at a checkpoint near Acapulco in Guerrero state, reports say.

A spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said local officials were investigating the circumstances of Proctor's death, "which are still unclear," CNN reported:

Proctor died, the U.S. State Department said, when he either tried to drive through the roadblock and the military shot at him or he opened fire as he drove through the checkpoint and soldiers shot back.

A Mexican soldier told police that Proctor fired first, the Associated Press reported:

Joseph Proctor opened fire on a military convoy with an AR-15 rifle, forcing the soldiers to shoot back, said Domingo Olea, a police investigator in the western state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located.

Olea provided no further details on Proctor, who was found dead in his car early Sunday. The press office at the Mexican Defense Department declined to comment on the case.

Proctor's father, William Proctor, said he did not know of his son being involved in any illegal activity and did not believe he would have owned a gun or attacked soldiers.


William Proctor said Joseph, 32, had lived off and on in Mexico for at least six years. He said his son had been in the process of divorcing his wife in Georgia and lived with a girlfriend and their young son in Mexico. He said he had little contact with his son and was unsure what Joseph did in Mexico but that he had worked in landscaping in the U.S.

He said Joseph had sometimes complained about being pulled over by Mexican security forces looking for bribes.

"He would get mad when the police pulled him over looking for payoffs," Proctor said.

An official with the Guerrero state prosecutor's office told CNN that "it appeared to be true" that Proctor had been shot by the Mexican military:

Proctor's body was found around 2 a.m. Sunday inside a red pickup truck on the federal Acapulco-Zihuatanejo highway near the town of Cerrito de Oro, the government-run Notimex news agency reported.

Guerrero is home to Acapulco, a popular tourist destination on Mexico's Pacific coast. Soldiers are frequently attacked by drug cartels in the area.

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