VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — Authorities are searching Texas’ Big Bend area for potential suspects and witnesses after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was fatally injured responding to activity there.
Border Patrol spokesmen said they could not provide any details Sunday on what caused the agent’s injuries or what led to them. Spokesman Carlos Diaz says the FBI has taken over the investigation.
Another spokesman, Douglas Mosier, says that 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a local hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez’s partner is in serious condition. His name wasn’t released. Martinez had been a border agent since August, 2013 and was from El Paso.
Border Patrol records show that Big Bend accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region’s mountains and the Rio Grande make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.
The border fence between the United States and Mexico. (credit: John Moore/Getty Images)
The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents who have died since late 2003, some attacked while working along the border, and other fatalities in traffic accidents. It lists one other agent death in the line of duty this year.
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