Things That Matter

Migrant Detainee Shot and Killed by Border Patrol Agent, FBI Investigates as an “Assault on a Federal Officer”

On Tuesday afternoon, a Mexican migrant detainee was shot at El Paso’s Ysleta Border Patrol Station by an agent. The detainee was transported to a nearby hospital and died later that afternoon due to his injuries.

The FBI is now investigating the shooting on the basis that the agent involved was acting in self-defense, according to the Washington Examiner.

“At this time, the FBI can confirm the person has died from his injuries,” The FBI’s special agent in charge in El Paso, Jeffrey R. Downer, said in a statement. “The FBI and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility are jointly working this assault on a federal officer investigation.”

Because neither the FBI nor the CBP have released more details about the case, it’s still unclear what led investigators to believe the agent was acting in response to an attempted assault.

However, a spokesperson for the National Border Patrol Council named Brandon Judd claimed that the migrant “went for an agent’s gun,” leading the agent to employ “appropriate force at that point,” reports Fox News. However, there has been no confirmation that this information is accurate as federal agencies continue to investigate the shooting confidentially.

As of this week, there have been 18 recorded use-of-force incidents involving CBP personnel using their firearms in 2022 alone — in 2021, there were 15 incidents. 

This latest shooting echoes a February 2022 incident where prosecutors declined to press charges against a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a 32-year-old Mexican man named Carmelo Cruz Marcos. Cruz Marcos was shot in a remote location near the Mexican border, but prosecutors insisted the agent was acting in self-defense, per the Washington Post.

As the investigation continues, the case is being handled by the Customs & Border Patrol’s Office of Professional Responsibility, FBI El Paso’s Violent Crime Task Force and Evidence Response Team, and the El Paso Police Department.

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