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US Border Patrol Release Name Of Agent Who Fatally Shot Migrant In Otay Mesa

Photo caption:

Photo by Jill Replogle

U.S. Border Patrol agents monitor the road leading to where a suspect was shot, Feb. 19, 2014.

Special Feature Deadly Patrols

Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents are increasing even though illegal immigration and assaults against agents are down.

Authorities on Monday released the name of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a migrant who allegedly pelted him with progressively larger stones during confrontation last week in a rugged open area east of Otay Mesa.

Daniel Basinger, who has been with the federal agency for about 2-1/2 years, opened fire on 41-year-old Mexican national Jesus Flores-Cruz on a hillside in the White Cross area of the Otay Mountain Range about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

The agent told investigators he was chasing and trying to detain Flores-Cruz when the undocumented immigrant started throwing rocks at him.

The projectiles ranged in size from about 6 inches in diameter to roughly the size of a basketball, according to the federal officer.

"One of the larger rocks struck the agent in the head," the lieutenant said. "Fearing that another rock strike to the head could kill or incapacitate him, the agent fired his duty pistol at least twice at the man, striking him."

Flores-Cruz died at the scene of the shooting. He was identified through his fingerprints, which had been recorded during a 1996 arrest by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Basinger was treated for minor injuries at a hospital. He has since returned to duty, according to Giannantonio.

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