(Brownsville) Eight people were killed and a dozen others injured Sunday in Texas when a car ran a dark red light into a group of people waiting for the bus in front of a center welcoming migrants.

Brownsville city law enforcement said they could not immediately confirm whether it was an accident or a deliberate act, but a witness told AFP that the driver had “insulted” those present before accelerating.

The vehicle “ran through a red light and ran over several people” around 8:30 a.m. (9:30 a.m. EST) in Brownsville, a Mexican border town in the southernmost part of Texas, the AFP local police spokesman Martin Sandoval.

“Seven people were killed and dozens injured,” he said. “We don’t know if all the people who died were migrants. We are investigating this with the border police,” he added.

US media later reported that one of the injured taken to the local hospital had died.

The driver was arrested and is being treated for injuries, according to Sandoval.

One of the migrants who was there told AFP that everything happened in “a few moments”.

“Everything happened suddenly. A lady drove by and told us to get out of the way, and we got out of the way. It was a matter of a few moments. The assassin arrived by car pointing at us, insulting us,” said Luis Herrera, a 36-year-old Venezuelan injured in the arm.

According to Mr. Herrera, the driver sped up as he approached.

It was people present on the spot who then prevented him from fleeing while waiting for the arrival of the police.

He was arrested for “dangerous driving”, but “it is more than likely that there will be other charges later”, said Mr. Sandoval, without giving further details.

Sunday evening, the police had not yet revealed the identity of the driver. She announced a press conference for Monday morning.

The victims were among a crowd of about 25 people waiting at a bus stop outside a center for homeless people, which is currently accepting migrants due to the current influx, the center’s director said. , Victor Maldonado.

According to him, they were Venezuelans, who had just had their breakfast at the center.

“Suddenly this SUV came at very high speed, hit the sidewalk and split the group,” he said.

He described to AFP a scene of horror, with body parts scattered in the street, and witnesses “ completely in shock ”. The driver “tried to flee, but the residents (of the center) caught up with him and immobilized him”, he added.

The center is open 24 hours a day, and currently hosts migrants from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, China and Ukraine, as well as many Venezuelans, Maldonado said.

The news comes at a time when the authorities are preparing for the lifting, on Thursday, of a health measure taken due to COVID-19 and allowing the immediate expulsion of migrants, the “ Titre 42 ”. Its expiration has authorities fearing a spike in illegal entries into the United States.