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TribBlog: Cross-Border Fire Draws Perry's Ire

Following a weekend shootout near the Rio Grande in El Paso, Gov. Rick Perry has once again lambasted the Obama administration over border security.

Downtown El Paso

A stray bullet fired from Juárez that hit a University of Texas at El Paso building prompted Gov. Rick Perry on Monday to again lash out at the Obama administration over border security.

The bullet came from a shootout between Mexican law enforcement and criminal gangs near the Rio Grande and apparently struck Bell Hall on the hilltop campus, according to the El Paso Times. In the aftermath of the gun battle, local law enforcement cordoned off an El Paso street that borders the Rio Grande for about 30 minutes.

“It is unconscionable that the Obama Administration is gambling with American lives, betting that escalating violence from these cartels won't eventually shed the blood of innocent people on U.S. soil,” Perry said today in a statement. He reiterated his call that 1,000 National Guard troops be deployed to Texas. 

The incident marks the second time since June that bullets believed to have been fired from Juárez struck a building in El Paso. That month, rounds fired from across the river struck the El Paso City Hall building. No injuries were reported in either incident.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio said the school was not targeted intentionally but that the incident should reinforce the need for safety precautions.

“We have a text message mobile phone warning system that not a lot of our students have signed up for," she told the El Paso Times today. "We are going to strongly recommend that they do that, because it could also be a case of natural disasters or lots of other things.” 

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