Border Patrol Agent Shoots, Kills Rock-Throwing Suspect

A shooting occurred along Otay Mountain Truck Trail near Alta Road, southeast of Otay Reservoir and east of State Route 125

A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man after he was struck in the face with a rock, officials said Tuesday.

The shooting occurred around 6:40 a.m. along Otay Mountain Truck Trail near Alta Road, southeast of Otay Reservoir and east of State Route 125.

San Diego County sheriff's homicide detective Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said two agents were pursuing who they believed to be undocumented immigrants in the area approximately four miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

The two agents were separated when one was struck in the face by a rock, officials said.

On Wednesday, investigators released further information on the incident. They say the Border Patrol agent followed the suspect through a ravine and up a hillside when the suspect began throwing fist-sized rocks.

The agent ordered the man to stop in English and in Spanish and used his hands to deflect some of the rocks, officials said.

The suspect continued to throw rocks at the agent, according to investigators. One of the rocks was estimated to be the size of a basketball.

“The agent, fearing for his safety, fired his duty weapon at the suspect, striking him,” Lt. Giannantonio said.

Investigators said the agent fired his weapon at least twice. Once he realized the suspect was shot, the agent attempted to revive the suspect, officials said.

The suspect died at the scene. At the scene, the agent asked not to be transported to a nearby hospital for treatment however, officials later said the agent was treated and released from a hospital for minor injuries.

Two people, believed to be undocumented immigrants, were arrested.  

In January, a rock measuring six inches in diameter was launched at a U.S. Border Patrol agent riding an ATV along the border.

Late last year, a large crowd pelted federal agents with rocks and bottles in the Tijuana River Channel near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The agency recently reported a 70-percent increase in assaults between 2011 and 2012, with rocks documented as the most common weapon used against the agents.

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