Border Agents Fear for Lives, Open Fire

By Tony Shin
|  Thursday, Sep 17, 2009  |  Updated 7:00 AM PDT
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Border Agents Fear for Lives, Open Fire

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A border patrol vehicle.

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A man accused of bringing illegal immigrants across the border was shot by Border Patrol agents after he attempted to run them over with his Ford F-150 pickup truck, officials said. The man survived the gunshot wound and led Border Patrol agents and police on a foot chase through San Diego before being apprehended.

Investigators said the shooting occured after agents arrested two suspected illegal border crossers in the Tijuana River Valley near Smugglers Gulch and began looking for a suspected coyote in a Ford F-150.

Border Patrol officials said the agents found the truck near the corner of Hollister Street and Monument Road.  But when they attempted to approach the vehicle, agents say the driver tried to run them over.

"Agents fearing for their lives had to open fire to try and stop the threat," Border Patrol Supervisor Daryl Reed said.

After the agents fired at the truck, it fled the scene. Agents followed the truck north on Hollister until it turned down Tocayo Avenue and then immediately turned into Gayo Court.

The suspect parked the truck in a driveway and ran off on foot.  Agents along with San Diego Police officers began chasing the suspect through backyards, which caught many residents off guard.

"I was with my kids, I just told them to go into their bedrooms, it was kind of intense," resident Danny Ramos said.

Officers and agents caught up with the suspect about a block away, on Leon Avenue.  Witnesses said the suspect appeared to collapse.

"It was a matter of seconds he went to the ground and then there was an onslaught of undercover vehicles," witness Clayton Howard said.

San Diego Police Captain Jim Collins said the suspect had a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken by ambulance to UCSD Medical Center.  Collins said it appears he will survive.

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