One U.S. Border Patrol agent is dead and another seriously injured after illegal immigrants apparently bashed them with rocks while they patrolled southwest Texas on Sunday morning.
Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his partner, who has not been identified, were patrolling the Big Bend Sector along the U.S./Mexico border when they were ambushed. Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News on Monday; “We don’t know exactly what happened because we weren’t there. However, just from agents that were working in the area, reports are saying it was an attack and it would appear to be an ambush … There’s a high likelihood this was an assault on the agents.”
#CBP mourns the loss of #USBP Agent Rogelio Martinez who passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow Agents during this difficult time. #HonorFirst https://t.co/ALpQ30thVk pic.twitter.com/wLcPzEXtKs
— CBP (@CBP) November 19, 2017
Both agents suffered blunt force trauma to the head, Judd said, suggesting that the assailants used rocks during the assault. He added, “There were no indications the agents fired their weapons.”
Judd also said there were no signs of a stabbing, either. Reported Fox News: “Martinez was notified there was illegal immigrant traffic in the area while the agents were patrolling near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area, according to Judd.” The report went on to say, “He began following “footprints” on a trail when he was ambushed. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release that Martinez’s partner made the initial call for help and reported they were injured and needed assistance.”
Details about what led to the ambush are foggy, Judd said, adding that the FBI is investigating the incident.
“Martinez was from El Paso and had worked as a border agent since August 2013, assigned to the Big Bend Sector,” Fox reported. He was also a father and brother according to media reports. No information has yet been released about the second agent who was attacked.
Martinez is the 39th agent to have died while working along the border since 2003, according to the Border Patrol website. Martinez is the second to die in 2017.
In a statement, Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the violence “a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecured border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with protecting them.”
Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was killed this morning in the line of duty. pic.twitter.com/izaihfIt2k
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 19, 2017
President Trump tweeted on the incident Sunday night:
Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017