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M.E. Identifies Border Patrol Shooting Victim as Illegal Immigrant

The San Diego County medical examiner released the name of a man fatally shot by a Border Patrol agent after the two allegedly scuffled over a gun.

The victim, Benito A. Gonzalez, was killed last Thursday after the agent tried to handcuff him, according to authorities. A records search identified him as an illegal immigrant.

Gonzalez, 40, lived in Sun City in Riverside County, said San Diego Medical Examiner's investigator Paul Parker.

The shooting occurred shortly before midnight, when undercover Border Patrol agents began following a 1991 Ford Aerostar van that was suspected of carrying illegal immigrants in suburban El Cajon, about 20 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

When the van pulled over about 30 miles north in Escondido, agents arrested the driver and 11 passengers and took them to a Border Patrol station.

Gonzalez pulled alongside the undercover agent who stayed behind to wait for a tow truck and confronted him, officials said. The two scuffled in a parking lot in Escondido, about 30 miles north of San Diego, and again in an adjacent lot after the victim tried to run away, according to sheriff's investigators.

Investigators said it was unclear whether Gonzalez was linked to the van full of suspected illegal immigrants.

The sheriff's department is investigating.

Information from: The North County Times.

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