On-Duty 'Attack' Leaves One U.S. Border Agent Dead, Another Injured

Rogelio Martinez, 36, was on patrol in West Texas when he and his partner reported needing help, officials said.

A U.S. border agent has died following what government officials described as an “attack” in West Texas on Sunday morning that left a second agent seriously injured.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, was on patrol near Van Horn, Texas, roughly 90 miles east of El Paso, when his partner reported that they were injured and in need of assistance, according to a statement released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Both agents were transported to a local hospital where Martinez died from his injuries. His partner, who was not identified, remains hospitalized, the CBP stated.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to arrest of those responsible for the agent’s death.

U.S. border agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, authorities said.
U.S. border agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, authorities said.

Authorities have released few details about the incident, including information about possible suspects or the type of injuries sustained by the agents.

An official with the National Border Patrol Council labor union who’s familiar with the investigation told The Los Angeles Times that Martinez was struck in the head, though it’s not clear with what.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released a statement on Sunday that described the agents as having been “attacked” and suggested that it was the result of an “unsecure border.”

“This is a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them,” his statement read. “We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. I remain fully committed to working with the Border Patrol to provide them with all the resources they need to safeguard our nation.”

President Donald Trump also addressed the agent’s death in a statement on Twitter Sunday night, reiterating his longtime call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

An FBI spokeswoman told the New York Times that more details are expected to be released on Monday.

“We are still working hard putting the facts together,” the spokeswoman said. “It’s a very active, fast-moving investigation.”

The Border Patrol’s website lists 38 agents who have died in the line of duty since December 2003. One other agent, Isaac Morales, died this year following an assault while on patrol.

This story has been updated with reward information.

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