According to a press release on Sunday, a U.S. Border Patrol agent died as a result of injuries he received while patrolling the Big Bend Sector along the Mexican border. Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were responding to activity near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area and about 120 miles east of El Paso. When Martinez’s partner reported that they were both injured and in need of assistance, fellow Border Patrol agents responded with immediate medical care, and transported both of them to a local hospital. Martinez was 36 years old.

Martinez died as a result of his injuries. His partner remains in the local hospital in serious condition. Border Patrol agents from Big Bend Sector and the Culberson County Sheriff’s Department secured the scene of the crime, while the Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group and agents from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations are searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses. The Culberson County Sheriff’s Department, FBI, Office of Inspector General, and CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating.

The president of the National Border Patrol Council, Brandon Judd, described the gruseome death of Agent Martinez. “What we know is that Border Patrol Agent Rogilio Martinez appears to have been ambushed by a group of illegal aliens whom he was tracking,” Judd said. “Our agents’ reports from the ground say that he was struck in the head multiple times with a rock or rocks.”ambushed and struck in the head with what is believed to have been a rock or rocks.”

“These disgusting acts and complete disregard for human life need to stop immediately,” he added. “Family members of slain Agent Martinez will never get to see him come home again all because we have failed to secure our borders from such criminals.”

According to the FBI, the two agents were not fired upon. However, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called the incident an “attack.” "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," Cruz said in a statement on Sunday. "We are also praying for the full recovery of his partner, who was also attacked."

Reportedly, Agent Martinez was assaulted by illegal aliens who crushed his head with rocks.

President Donald Trump tweeted a renewed call to "build the wall" on Sunday evening in response to the death. He wrote: "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!"

Cruz went on to say that Martinez’s death while on duty serves as a "stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them."

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke released a statement saying that her agency is "fully supporting the ongoing investigation to determine the cause of this tragic event." "On behalf of the quarter of a million frontline officers and agents of DHS, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Agent Martinez and to the agent who is in serious condition," she said in the statement.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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