November 20, 2017

Statement by FBI El Paso on the Death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in the Line of Duty Near Van Horn, Texas

November 21, 2017 Update: Customs and Border Protection and FBI El Paso press briefing on the line-of-duty death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez near Van Horn, Texas. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection video)

First and foremost, the thoughts and prayers of all the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved are with the family, friends, and U.S. Border Patrol work force during this tragic time.

On November 18, 2017, at approximately 11:20 p.m. CST, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Van Horn Station in the Big Bend Sector located two injured Border Patrol agents in a culvert area adjacent to Interstate 10, about 12 miles east of Van Horn. They provided the injured agents with immediate medical care and transported them to a local Van Horn hospital.

Both agents sustained traumatic head injuries, along with other miscellaneous physical injuries such as broken bones. At a local hospital in Van Horn, it was determined both of the agents’ injuries were severe and required advanced medical care. The injured agents were airlifted separately to a local hospital in El Paso, Texas.

Sadly, Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez succumbed to his injuries and died in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 19, 2017. The results of an autopsy are pending. The second injured Border Patrol Agent is currently in a local El Paso hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) in stable condition.

The FBI, as the lead agency for investigating any potential assault on a federal officer, became the lead on this investigation yesterday, November 19, 2017. Whenever the FBI suspects a member of the federal law enforcement community has been the victim of a violent assault, the FBI is responsible for investigating the matter. The FBI is working closely with U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (including CBP Air and Marine), Texas Department of Public Safety, and United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas. Additionally, the FBI has received assistance from the HSI, DEA, CBP Office of Professional Responsibility, Department of Homeland Security’s-Office of Inspector General, El Paso Police Department, and Culberson County Sheriff’s Department.

The FBI is asking anyone with information about this tragic incident to contact the FBI 24 hours a day at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or online at The FBI is aggressively investigating all leads coming in from the public and through investigative activities.