Border Agent Kills Man Who Threw Rock at Him
Agent was patrolling known smuggling trail near San Diego
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2014 10:23 AM CST
A US Border Patrol agent looks out over Tijuana, Mexico, behind, along the old border wall along the US - Mexico border, where it ends at the base of a hill in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(Newser) – A US Border Patrol agent who claims he feared for his life after a rock hit his head reacted by shooting and killing the man who hurled the stone. It marks the ninth fatal shooting involving rock throwing since 2010. The unnamed agent was patrolling a smuggling trail east of San Diego early Tuesday when he came upon men suspected of crossing the border illegally; rocks were thrown at him, with one hitting his head. The San Diego Union-Tribune describes one of them as being as large as a basketball, and many of the rest fist-sized. The AP reports that the incident fuels an ongoing debate over whether lethal force is justified as a response to rock attacks. The Border Patrol has long maintained that rocks are deadly weapons, and has rejected proposals that would prevent it from responding to them with deadly force.

Under current policy, agents can use deadly force if they have a reasonable belief that their lives or the lives of others are in danger. Agents were attacked with rocks 185 times in the 2012 fiscal year, making it the No. 2 type of assault, according to the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. They responded with gunfire 22 times and with less-than-lethal force—such as pepper spray and batons—42 times. The rock-thrower, a noncitizen, was pronounced dead at the scene; it's unclear how many times he was shot, but the agent fired at least twice. The agent has been placed on paid administrative leave, reports the Los Angeles Times.

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Showing 3 of 145 comments
drumz
Mar 2, 2014 12:23 PM CST
Another cowardly racist with a gun.
kenistaz
Feb 20, 2014 1:14 PM CST
Any one who believes that throwing a rock is not the use of a deadly weapon, need to rethink their position on rock throwing.My great aunt was killed with a rock thrown at her by some one that was angry with her.I also had a friend that was hit in the face with a rock that was thrown at him during an altercation and he was hospitalized with a broken eye socket and brain damage.He lost the vision in his eye and has a problem with his memory as a result of the incident and the funny thing was that he was not even a part of the altercation.He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.So please don't tell me that a rock throwing incident is not the use of a deadly weapon as it is, and should be responded to as such.I can tell you if word gets out that the use of deadly force against rock throwing is warranted.You will see a drop in the incidents of rock throwing and a drop in our agents being hurt or killed by rocks.
Tology
Feb 20, 2014 9:10 AM CST
If it was an Israeli shooting a Palestinian, everyone would say he deserved it, what's the difference here?