- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The illegal alien fatally shot by the U.S. Border Patrol agent he’s accused of attacking with rocks had been caught sneaking into the United States 11 previous times, and his brother, who witnessed the shooting, has been arrested for assaulting a U.S. police officer, records show.

The shooting of Guillermo Martinez-Rodriguez near San Diego occurred in one of the most violent and heavily-patrolled areas of the U.S.-Mexico border, where more than a dozen agents were injured by rocks and chunks of cement thrown at them in fiscal 2005.

A total of 78 agents have been assaulted in the area since Oct. 1, the start of fiscal 2006.

San Diego Police Department homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney, who is heading the shooting investigation, said the probe’s results will be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego this month. He said the shooting took place between two border fences near the San Ysidro port of entry as the unidentified agent was checking a report of illegal border crossers in the area.

Mr. Martinez-Rodriguez, who checked himself into a Tijuana, Mexico, hospital shortly after the 7:25 p.m. Friday incident but died five hours later, was struck by a single gunshot to the back of his right shoulder. The Mexican Attorney General’s Office also is investigating the shooting.

Border Patrol officials said the agent was defending himself at the time of the shooting.

Records obtained by The Washington Times show that Mr. Martinez-Rodriguez, who was 21 and not 18 as authorities initially reported, was apprehended by Border Patrol agents at five separate locations in California over the past two years, including Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, Campo, Boulevard and El Centro. He was returned to Mexico each time.

His brother, Augustine Jamie Martinez-Rodriguez, 33, has an arrest record dating back to 1994 when he was charged with making false statements to a police officer. The records also show that a year later, he was arrested for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, and was taken into custody in 2003 for making false statements to a police officer.

The older brother also was detained by Border Patrol agents on eight separate attempts to cross into the United States.

El Mexicano newspaper yesterday reported that neighbors of the Martinez-Rodriguez family said the brothers were involved in the smuggling of aliens into the United States — an accusation strongly denied by family members. Officials at the Mexican Consulate said they had no information that the brothers were involved in smuggling.

Lt. Rooney said as the agent ran toward the men, Mr. Guillermo Martinez-Rodriguez retreated to the south and “scooped up what the agent believed to be several rocks.”

“As the agent unholstered his duty weapon, the male cocked his arm and made a throwing motion toward the agent. The agent fired at the male, who grabbed his arm and fled down a grade that leads to the primary border fence,” he said.

Border Patrol spokesman Sal Zamora yesterday said “all information pertinent to this incident has been and will continue to be shared” with San Diego Police Department detectives, including all of the agency’s previous encounters with the brothers.

Mr. Guillermo Martinez-Rodriguez, the father of two children, was buried Tuesday after a funeral service in the Colonia Libertad section of Tijuana, just east of the San Ysidro port of entry, where he lived.

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