A Border Patrol agent. File photo

San Diego homicide detectives are investigating Friday’s deadly shooting of a non-U.S. citizen by a U.S. Border Patrol agent near the U.S. Port of Entry in San Ysidro.

The man was involved in an altercation with the agent on federal property, but it was unclear what caused it, Lt. Andra Brown of the San Diego Police Department told reporters at the scene.

“As with any officer or agent-involved shooting that occurs in the City of San Diego, the San Diego Police Homicide Unit was called to the scene to conduct the investigation,” Brown said. “It is still early in the investigation, but preliminary information is that the male, a Mexican national, attempted to enter the United States illegally and was confronted by a Border Patrol agent.”

Brown said the man fought with the agent, who received minor injuries during the incident.

“The agent fired his duty weapon, striking the male once in the torso,” Brown said.

The man has been identified, but his identity was not immediately released – nor was the Border Patrol agent’s name.

“The investigation and review process for an agent-involved shooting are extremely thorough,” Brown said. “The U.S. Border Patrol is cooperating with the investigation.”

When the homicide unit completes their independent investigation, it will be reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s office, Brown said.

The shooting, close to the international border near the Las Americas Premium Outlets on Camino De La Plaza, happened at 5:45 p.m. Friday. Paramedics pronounced the suspect dead 40 minutes later.

Aaron Heitke, chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, in his account of the incident, said “during the arrest, an altercation ensued and the agent discharged his firearm, wounding the man, who was later identified as an adult Mexican national.”

He added that agents and other law enforcement personnel came to the man’s aid, initiating lifesaving efforts until emergency medical services arrived on scene.

“Customs and Border Protection will continue to fully cooperate with this ongoing investigation,” Heitke said. “The specifics of this incident have been shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, office of the inspector general, along with the Office of Professional Responsibility.”

– City News Service

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