EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) - An American missionary was shot by a gunmen in northern Mexico and died shortly after her husband raced her back across the border into Texas seeking emergency treatment, authorities said on Wednesday.
Nancy Shuman Davis, 59, was rushed to a hospital in McAllen, Texas, with a gunshot wound to the head after her husband drove against traffic to cross the Pharr International Bridge from Mexico at around 12:25 p.m. local time, police said.
Shuman Davis was pronounced dead at the hospital about 90 minutes later, Ruben Villescas, police chief in the nearby border town of Pharr, said in a statement.
Villescas said the couple were both missionaries who traveled extensively in Mexico.
A preliminary investigation found they were driving along a highway about 60 miles south of the border when they were confronted by gunmen in a pickup truck.
The couple tried to speed away, but the gunmen gave chase, shooting at the Americans until the wife was struck by gunfire in the head, Villescas said. The husband, who was not named in the release, then sped on to the Pharr International Bridge and sought help.
Pharr lies across the Rio Grande river from the city of Reynosa, in Mexico’s northern Tamaulipas state, which has been convulsed by violence as rival drug cartels fight for control of a lucrative smuggling route to Texas.
Villescas said Pharr police were in contact with Mexican authorities who have confirmed that they are investigating the shooting.
There was no immediate indication of whether drug gangs were suspected in connection with Wednesday’s killing.
Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Bohan