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Agent kills man armed with rock

Border Patrol says the victim, shot with a rifle, was among several men who'd turned back toward Mexico in a raft.

March 28, 2007|From the Associated Press

CALEXICO, CALIF. — A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man who threatened him with a softball-sized rock at the border, the agency said Tuesday.

The agent fired an M-4 assault rifle at the man, who had escaped from a scuffle with another agent as he tried to run back into Mexico, said Border Patrol spokesman David Kim.

The victim -- whose name, nationality and immigration status were not released by U.S. authorities -- was pronounced dead from one bullet wound at El Centro Regional Medical Center after the incident Monday. Kim said he did not know where the man was struck.

Pablo Arnaud Carreno, Mexico's consul in Calexico, said the victim was a Mexican man who was apparently in the United States illegally. The Mexican government asked U.S. authorities for a thorough investigation.

"It seems unjust to shoot someone who is unarmed," Arnaud Carreno said Tuesday.

The shooting, reported Tuesday in a local newspaper, occurred about 5:30 p.m. in Calexico, about 120 miles east of San Diego.

Border Patrol agents saw seven people climb a border fence, run to the All-American Canal and attempt to cross the waterway in rafts, Kim said. The victim was in a raft that had turned back toward Mexico.

Kim said the agent fired after seeing the man's arm cocked back with a rock in the hand.

Other people continued to throw rocks at the agents, Kim said. A Molotov cocktail that had failed to explode was found nearby.

The FBI is investigating and the Imperial County coroner's office was performing an autopsy. The Border Patrol declined to identify the agent involved.

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