Border Patrol agent fatally shoots man near San Ysidro outlet mall, pedestrian crossing

Border Patrol agent fatally shoots man near San Ysidro outlet mall, pedestrian crossing

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According to authorities, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot a man aged 30 at a heavily-fortified border zone near the San Ysidro pedestrian cross into Mexico.

It occurred at 5:45 pm on a strip bordering federal property, just west of pedestrian crossing and south-east of Las Americas Premium Outlets.

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According to Aaron Heitke (Border Patrol San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Officer), the Mexican national was shot and then died on the spot.

San Diego police homicide Lieutenant Andra Brown stated that authorities knew his identity but did not release it immediately.

Police said that the man was trying to illegally enter the United States when he was stopped by a Border Patrol agent.

The agent shot the man at least once after an apparent altercation between the man, the agent and the man. The agent who shot and killed the man was the only one involved. “was not seriously injured”Brown claimed that Brown was involved in the altercation and that the San Diego Police Department is conducting the investigation. It does so for all officer-involved death in the city.

A yellow tarp covered Friday night’s body near a guardrail at top of a road service above a roughly 20 foot drainage ditch. Brown stated that both the shooting and the altercation took place in this area. It was located south of Virginia Avenue. This dead-end street is south of Camino De La Plaza and serves as a bus/taxi route and passenger-loading area between the outlet malls and Tijuana’s walkway.

Surveillance cameras are installed in the area between the border barriers, where the shooting took place, and agents patrol it regularly. It’s elevated and clearly visible from the backside of the outlet mall parking lot and Virginia Avenue. Brown stated that there were many witnesses to the incident.

The lieutenant stated that San Diego homicide investigators would contact the agent involved in the case, but she did not reveal his identity. She said that investigators would collaborate with the Border Patrol and its union in order to determine if the agent would make a statement.

Border Patrol critics and immigrant-rights activists moved quickly Friday night in support of a transparent investigation by San Diego police, without federal interference.

“In the past, what we’ve seen from Border Patrol in San Diego is that they justify every shooting,”Jenn Budd is a former Border Patrol agent who has become a fierce critic of the agency. “They have not been cooperative with giving the names of agents and being transparent. I hope the new chief will be transparent and release video from the port of entry so everyone in the border community can see what happened.”

Friday’s letter was also signed by two leaders of local social justice groups, asking Chief David Nisleit to direct his department to investigate the shooting thoroughly and transparently.

“SDPD has sole jurisdiction to investigate this case for a possible homicide, not Border Patrol, not Customs and Border Protection, and not any other part of the Department of Homeland Security,” wrote Alliance San Diego Executive Director Andrea Guerrero and Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S.-Mexico Border Program.

“SDPD should ensure that none of these agencies, nor the unions representing their members, is involved at any level of the investigation,”Guerrero & Rios wrote. “Any involvement or coordination with these agencies, and specifically with (the Critical Incident Investigation Teams) has the potential to corrupt the investigation and could be considered an obstruction of justice.”

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego offered to provide the victim’s relatives with consular and legal assistance, according to the consulate.

Friday’s shooting was believed to be the first fatal shooting by federal border agents in the San Diego area since June 2019, when seven Customs and Border Protection officers shot and killed a 23-year-old U.S. citizen during a gun battle at a San Ysidro vehicle crossing. The man, who was trying to smuggle two Chinese citizens into America in his pickup, tried to plow and shoot his route into the U.S. via Mexico.

The last shooting of Border Patrol agents from San Diego was in July 2018. It was a 19-year old man who allegedly hit one agent with a rock, then stole his ATV. The teen was chased by other agents who shot him at least once and caused him to crash. He survived.

Andrea Lopez-Villafaña contributed to this report.

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