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Border agent killed responding to possible incursion; Update: Four suspected detained in Mexico

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 24, 2009 10:21 PM

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Border Agent Robert Rosas, Jr., killed in the line of duty

In my State of the Borders column in January, I warned that Mexican Army incursions into U.S. territory remain a regular occurrence.

Off the Obama radar screen, violence on the southern border rages unchecked.

Now this:

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who was shot and killed Thursday night was responding to a potential incursion into the United States, authorities said.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says, “This act of violence will not stand.”

Agent Robert Rosas suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene around 9 p.m. in the Campo area in San Diego County, California, said Richard Barlow of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Barlow, speaking at a Friday news conference, said authorities did not have additional details about the incident, which he said occurred near the fence that separates the U.S. and Mexico.

Other agents responded to the area and found Rosas, Barlow said.

Authorities said they believe more than one person was involved in the killing, said Keith Slotter, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Diego bureau. He said one of those involved may have been injured as well.

A break in the case:

KPIX in San Francisco is reporting that two men and one woman were arrested in relation to this case in a San Jose Hospital where they were seeking treatment. Reportedly, a blood sample of one of the assailants was found at the scene. Reports that the Agent may have been shot with his own weapon are unconfirmed at this time.

This tragedy underscores the need for a better fence and tighter control over the United States Border with Mexico. It also signals an escalation of the violence on this side of the fence or lack thereof. The area where the agent was killed is still only protected by the decades old ten-foot fence that smugglers and illegal immigrants have been scaling or crawling under since it was installed.

Local residents and citizen border watchers are stricken with grief, many of whom knew and worked with Agent Rosas…Agent Rosas is survived by a wife and two small children. Flags across the area are flying at half-staff.



Update: Four detained…

Mexican federal police say they have detained four men suspected of involvement in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas.

Elias Alvarez Hernandez, the coordinator of federal police in Baja California state, says the men were allegedly part of an immigrant smuggling ring. Twenty-one immigrants were found with them when the men were detained near Tecate on Saturday.

Posted in: Southern Border