Immigrant shot by B.P. agent

April 23, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The FBI is investigating the shooting of an undocumented immigrant by a U.S. Border Patrol agent Monday.

Mexicali resident Hector Castillo Roman, 30, was shot once by a Border Patrol agent after Roman and other illegal immigrants allegedly assaulted the agent while they were trying to enter the country illegally.

Border Patrol spokesman Manuel Figueroa said the incident occurred about 1 p.m. west of Calexico at the border fence near the All-American Canal.

Figueroa said the incident occurred in an area known to agents to be utilized by smugglers on a daily basis.

What smugglers commonly do is cross the canal in rafts, along with their human cargo. When they reach the U.S. side of the canal they throw rocks or swing oars to try to keep agents from capturing them while immigrants get into a waiting vehicle.


In this incident, the agent was attacked by at least three illegal immigrants, said Figueroa. The agents thought his life was in danger and shot one round at the assailants in self-defense.

Figueroa said he didn't know what injuries the agent received. Roman was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center in stable condition. Information on his condition was not available this morning.

The FBI, which is investigating the shooting, would not comment on the incident.

Figueroa added agents took six illegal immigrants into custody as witnesses. He added the other assailants thought to be involved in the attack on the agent crossed back into Mexico.

Roman will be arrested for smuggling when he is released from the hospital, said Figueroa.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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