SHOTS FIRED DURING BORDER PATROL PURSUIT IN CAMPO

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By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 5, 2013 (Campo) – A Border Patrol agent discharged his weapon during a pursuit in Campo early this morning.  A suspected drug smuggler was injured by flying glass when the vehicle window shattered, according to a Sheriff’s report, which indicated the agent claims to have fired in self-defense.

Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail said the suspect was treated at a hospital and released to custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.

According to authorities, Border Patrol agents saw two vehicles traveling north from the border at 6:45 a.m. near Campo. One vehicle turned back south and its occupants abandoned the vehicle at the border fence, then “absconded into  Mexico.”  The second vehicle stopped beside the road.

When Border Patrol agents exited their vehicle to contact the driver, “the driver of the suspect vehicle made a U-turn and drove directly at one of the agents. Fearing for his life, the agent discharged his Agency-issued firearm and the suspect vehicle subsequently came to a rest a short distance away,” Lt. Giannantonio said.

The incident occurred on Forrest Gate Road in Campo.  During the incident,  Campo Elementary and a high school nearby was briefly placed in lockdown. 

A witness told ECM news partner 10 News that five or more shots were heard and that the vehicle appeared to have at least three bullet holes. 

No agents were injured. Both suspect vehicles involved in the incident were found to be carrying a large quantity of suspected narcotics.  Names of the suspects and the agent who fired the shot are being withheld at this time. 

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.