Border Explosion Death Investigated as Homicide

Suspect in high speed chase ignited his car after Border Patrol agents attempted to pull him over

By Lauren Steussy
|  Monday, Mar 19, 2012  |  Updated 11:59 AM PDT
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Chase Driver Sets Self, Car on Fire

NBCSanDiego

Sheriff's Department investigators survey the damage caused by the fire on Thursday morning.

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Chase Driver Sets Self, Car on Fire

Michael Jimenez from the U.S. Customs & Border Protection discusses an incident where a man lit his car on fire after a high-speed chase. Diana Guevara reports.
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A medical examiner’s report categorized the death of a man who ignited his car in flames after a high-speed chase as a homicide.

The San Diego Medical Examiner identified the suspect as 24-year-old Southlake, Texas resident Alexander Arthur Martin.

On Wednesday, Martin was traveling the wrong way on Old Highway 80 near Campo when Highway Patrol agents attempted to pull him over. As officer approached his car, the car exploded in flames, killing Martin and injuring a Border Patrol agent.

The Medical Examiner listed Martin’s cause of death as “pending,” and said that either additional testing is still underway or that the investigation is still ongoing.

The report stated that Martin died at 12:12 a.m. Thursday.

A US Border Patrol authority said on Thursday that often drug smugglers drive the opposite way on the highway to avoid the border checkpoint.

In early reports, the Sheriff’s Department said Martin reached into his glove box for a device before the car exploded. After Border Patrol took over the investigation, that detail was omitted.

The U.S. Border Patrol is handling the investigation and could not comment further since the investigation is ongoing.

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