Agents detaining suspected illegal immigrants Monday came under assault from rock throwers, the FBI said. One agent, who was not identified, fired his handgun, killing the victim, who was identified as 14-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 14-year-old Mexican boy near the Juarez-El Paso border during a rock-throwing incident Monday night, authorities said.
The FBI said in a statement that the shooting happened at 6:30 p.m. Monday underneath the Paso del Norte bridge, on the U.S. side near downtown El Paso.
The FBI, which is investigating the incident, said two Border Patrol agents had detained two people suspected of illegally crossing the border. The agents had the suspects on the ground and ordered other suspected illegal immigrants to stop. According to the statement, the group surrounded the agents and began to pelt them with stones.
One agent, who was not identified, fired his handgun, killing the victim, who was identified as Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca.
It was not immediately known if the boy was among the rock throwers.
The FBI characterized the area as a "high-risk crime area" where Mexicans regularly throw rocks at border agents.
T.J. Bonner, president of the union representing Border Patrol agents, said rock-throwing incidents against Border Patrol agents are common and capable of causing serious injury.
"It is a deadly force encounter," Bonner said. "One that justifies the use of deadly force."
The violence in Mexico, combined with assaults against Border Patrol agents in the U.S., has increased the level of apprehension agents have about their safety, Bonner said.
Less than two weeks ago, Mexican migrant Anastacio Hernandez, 32, died after a Customs and Border Protection officer shocked him with a stun gun at the San Ysidro border crossing that separates San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.
Last week, the San Diego medical examiner's office ruled that death a homicide.
Chihuahua State officials and Mexico's Secretariat of Foreign Relations have demanded a full investigation into the death of the boy. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.