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Border Patrol agent dies from injuries sustained from ‘rock throwers’ on US-Mexico border


A U.S. Border Patrol agent from El Paso died Sunday morning from injuries sustained while on patrol near Van Horn, officials with Customs and Border Protection and the Border Patrol announced.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, was identified as the agent who died. Martinez and his Big Bend sector partner were on patrol and responding to activity near Interstate 10 near Van Horn, which is about 120 miles east of El Paso.

The partner reported that they were both injured and in need of assistance, according to a CBP news release.

Responding agents provided immediate medical care and transported the agents to a hospital.

Martinez later died from his injuries, while his partner remained hospitalized in serious condition. Martinez had been a Border Patrol agent since August 2013, a spokesman said.

President Donald Trump tweeted:

Although U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not release much information on the incident, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, issued a statement saying the two agents had been attacked.

Officials have not yet said how the two got injured but Art Del Cueto, the Vice President of the National Border Protection Council, told KTSM, “We strongly believe rocks were what was used.”

The statement said:

“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. We are also praying for the full recovery of his partner, who was also attacked.

“This is a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them. We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. I remain fully committed to working with the Border Patrol to provide them with all the resources they need to safeguard our nation.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted: “Our prayers are with the families of this Border Patrol Agent who was killed & the other who was injured in this attack in Texas. Our resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future.”

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, also commented on the agent’s death on Twitter, saying: “My thoughts are with the family of agent Rogelio Martinez & the entire Border Patrol. We will pursue investigation & justice.”

On Sunday, the Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group and agents from Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations were searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses.

The Culberson County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the Office of the Inspector General and CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating the incident.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Martinez and his family and with the agent who was injured,” the CBP statement said.

The Bright contributed to this report.

©2017 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

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