Border Patrol agent kills man
SAN DIEGO — An undercover U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man Thursday morning after a fierce struggle in an Escondido parking lot that was being used in a suspected human smuggling operation, authorities said.
The man was unarmed but reached for the agent's gun during a scuffle, said Sgt. Roy Frank of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, which conducted a preliminary investigation.
Neither the man who was killed nor the agent who shot him has been identified.
The shooting came during a surveillance operation by an elite, anti-smuggling Border Patrol unit that followed a van suspected of carrying illegal immigrants for 40 miles, from the U.S.-Mexico border to a park-and-ride lot off Interstate 15.
Smugglers often use parking lots off San Diego-area freeways to switch immigrants from one vehicle to another as they make their way north.
At the lot, the agents arrested the driver of the van and 11 suspected illegal immigrants they found in the vehicle. One agent stayed behind to wait for a truck to tow the van, Frank said.
At that point, a man in a 1992 Mitsubishi Expo drove into the lot. The agent, after questioning the man, determined that he was an illegal immigrant and tried to arrest him. The man then bolted across the freeway. When the agent caught up, the man resisted arrest, Frank said.
"There was a struggle for the gun," Frank said. "The agent was knocked down to the ground during the struggle.
"He was able to retrieve his gun, and at that point he shot the suspect."
It was unclear what, if any, connection the man had with the smuggling activity, Frank said. The investigation continues.
The agent is a member of the Smuggling Interdiction Group, an undercover unit that targets human smuggling networks.
The incident Thursday was the fourth fatal shooting in the last two years by federal agents working in San Diego and the Imperial Valley.
In December 2005, an agent killed a suspected smuggler after he allegedly threw a rock at him.
In May 2006, federal agents shot a suspected smuggler who was attempting to drive a car filled with illegal immigrants across the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
In March, a Border Patrol agent near Calexico shot a man who had thrown rocks at him. That incident, which was videotaped, was ruled a justifiable shooting by the Imperial County district attorney's office.
The Border Patrol Agent was Working on an Assignment of Plain Clothing, it will be interesting to see what the outcome of the internal investigation will be as to the shooting. However I can say that I believe that the outcome should be as follows, that the suspect noticed that he was carrying a firearm, for what other conclusion could there be in this situation? The Suspect seeing the Gun, and tried to grab it. The Agent and the Suspect struggled to gain control of the gun, The suspect was getting possession of the gun but the Agent saw the in a split second to save himself from being shot, and potentially several innocent people and potentially other agents from being shot as well by the agents own gun, He saw the opportunity to stop this whole ordeal to shot the suspect, and stop the struggle, and took that shot. It was unfortunate that the Suspect died from the injury sustained from the injury that he sustained while he was merely trying to stop the fight, and save not only his life, but potentially the other agents lives that were under cover as well.
I can see that is the way that the Investigation is going to go, and it should go that way and it all should be justified, Unless, there is a huge part of this whole thing that I could be missing, and I don't want the head ache over that one, Let alone the stress. I pray that the first out come be the case and that would be it. Unless I am dreaming and I should read more of the story.
I have been up for a few days and cannot read straight, so I have to go with what I have unfortunately.