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Knife-Wielding Man Killed by Customs Agent at Border

April 19, 1988

A 37-year-old Orange County man was shot and killed by a U. S. Customs agent at the San Ysidro border crossing Monday after he charged at the agent with a knife, a spokesman for the agency said.

The man, who was not identified pending notification of his family, was shot twice in the chest after behaving erratically and brandishing a knife in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near the border crossing at about 12:20 p.m., spokesman John Miller said.

Miller said witnesses reported that the man had been bleeding, perhaps from self-inflicted wounds.

San Diego police spokesman Bill Robinson said the man had been brandishing a knife on the Tijuana side of the border earlier and had attempted to stab a Mexican police officer. The officer was not hurt, Robinson said, as the knife struck a metal object in his jacket.

The man had also tried to assault freeway motorists with a crowbar and had been running across all the traffic lanes, Robinson said.

San Diego homicide detectives were investigating the shooting and a routine internal probe was being conducted by U. S. Customs. Miller would not identify the agent who did the shooting and said the agent would remain on duty during the investigations.

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