Border Patrol shoots man at US-Mexico line

August 13, 2008 1:30:14 PM PDT
Authorities report a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and wounded a man who was part of a group that assaulted agents with rocks alongside the Tia Juana River .

Tijuana police report 72-year-old Edgar Israel Ortega Chavez is hospitalized with a bullet wound in his right torso. Mexican authorities found him alongside the dry, concrete-lined river basin.

San Diego police say the shooter was a 10-year Border Patrol veteran.

A Border Patrol spokesman, (Daryl Reed, says the unnamed agent fired his gun on U.S. soil last night after seeing the man wielding a softball-sized rock on Mexican soil. Reed says the group hurled rocks at agents from U.S. soil, but the Border Patrol used tear gas and pepper-spray projectiles to force the attackers to retreat to Mexico.

Reed says there was no fence separating the agent from the group when he fired. A yellow stripe on the bottom of the river basin marks the border in the area.

There are two fences in the area -- one about 10 feet high and the other about 15 feet -- but both are north of where the shooting occurred.

Tijuana police say about 10 people were threatening Border Patrol agents. Tijuana authorities found a tear-gas canister and fragments and two. 223-caliber bullet shells near Ortega's body.


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