On Sunday, an on-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent was hit with gunfire while parked near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which sits between San Diego and Tijuana,
Shots rang out, penetrating the driver’s side of the vehicle at approximately 2:15 p.m. The agent, who has 22 years with the agency, was not injured. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said an inspection found multiple bullet holes in the agent’s vehicle, 7 San Diego News reported.
The shots were determined to have been fired from the Mexico side of the border.
A Border Patrol agent was shot at while sitting in his marked patrol vehicle near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. via @NBCSanDiego https://t.co/kjiYWDHntN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 10, 2018
Mexican authorities were notified immediately and arrested two suspects, one of which was found with a gun. The other was released.
Tijuana police identified the suspect as Sergio N., also known by his alias “El Checo.”
Officials said Sergio N. had been living in the U.S. before being deported to Mexico around six months ago. He has a criminal record that includes charges of human smuggling.
Border Patrol Agent Vincent Pirro said: “This was a clear attempt to try to murder one of our Border Patrol agents. Multiple rounds hit his vehicle.”
Federal agents did not confirm if the man accused of firing at the agent would be charged. The FBI is coordinating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and officials in Tijuana to investigate the incident.
Pirro said that since 2017, 80 Border Patrol agents have been injured. “That’s with rocks — they try to attack with knives, their fists,” he said.
In June 2018, a U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot several times at close range in Arizona near the Mexican border, CBS News reported. The agent was ambushed while investigating activity that was picked up on sensors.
Border Patrol chief in Tucson, Rodolfo Karisch said: “The agent was attacked by an unknown number of assailants, one of whom fired several shots at the agent in close proximity.”
The agent is a 21-year veteran and a certified paramedic who was able to treat his gunshot wounds.
Agents along the Arizona border said that the area is plagued with drug cartel activity and poses a real threat.
There have been 33 Border Patrol agent deaths since the formation of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from 2003 through Nov. 19, 2017.
2004 had the highest rate of agent deaths at 0.028 percent of all Border Patrol agents, or one out of every 3,606 agents on duty that year, according to Customs and Border Protection.