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Suspects in Border Patrol Murder Are Undocumented Immigrants

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The two suspects accused of murdering an off-duty border patrol agent in Texas are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, the agent's union said Thursday. Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, have been charged with murder for fatally shooting Border Patrol agent Javier Vega on Sunday while he was spending time with his family fishing in Santa Monica, Texas, according to Willacy County officials.

And Chris Cabrera, Vice-President of the National Border Patrol Council told NBC News that both men are from Matamoros, Mexico, and had been deported from the U.S. before. One of the men had been deported four times, while the other had been deported twice. County officials confirmed that account.

Tijerina and Hernandez are also charged with attempted capital murder of Vega's father, who was struck by a bullet in the leg, and two attempted murder charges a piece for threatening lives of the victims' wives, said Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence. "The wretched animals who committed this crime will face the full measure of Texas justice," the National Border Patrol Council said in a statement Monday before the identities of the suspects were known. Vega, a former marine, was laid to rest Thursday in La Feria, Texas, with full Military honors and Border Patrol honors, according to his obituary in the Valley Morning Star.



— Mark Potter and Elisha Fieldstadt