Border Patrol agent killed in San Diego County
CAMPO, Calif. — A U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot to death in a remote area of San Diego County as he tracked suspected illegal immigrants or drug smugglers, authorities said Friday.
The agent was identified as Robert Wimer Rosas in a statement from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Border Patrol declined to release further details until a news conference scheduled for Friday afternoon.
"I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our own," Napolitano said.
Napolitano said she had directed the department to use its full resources to aid in the murder investigation.
The FBI also is investigating, spokesman Darrell Foxworth said.
The agent spotted a suspicious group of people Thursday night in the Campo area near the Mexican border and called for additional agents to help track them, U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Daryl Reed said.
When the suspicious group split up, the agent followed some of the suspects on his own, Reed said.
Other agents lost radio contact with him shortly after 9 p.m. then heard gunshots. They found the agent, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said he was shot in the head.
Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Mexico searched both sides of the border but failed to find any suspects.
Since 1919, 108 Border Patrol agents have died on duty, according to The Officer Down Memorial Page Inc., which tracks law-enforcement deaths. Gunfire was the leading cause with 30 deaths, followed by automobile accidents and aircraft accidents.
The Web site, which had already posted Rosas' death, said the agent was 30 and was a three-year veteran who is survived by his wife, a 2-year-old son and an 11-month-old daughter.
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