On Sunday afternoon, Border Patrolman Javier Vega was enjoying some time off by fishing for gar in Santa Monica, Texas, along with his wife, three children, and his father, Javier, Sr. Two Mexican nationals approached Javier after he tied up his boat and demanded money. The conversation became heated and one of the nationals pulled a gun. Javier was shot once in the chest, fatally wounding him. His father, who was armed, returned fire, disabling the criminals’ vehicle. They were later arrested and charged with seven counts including capital murder, attempted capital murder, aggravated robbery, and tampering with evidence.
The two arrested were Gustavo Tijeria, age 30, and Ismael Hernandez, age 40, both from the city of Matamoros, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville, Texas. During the interrogation it was learned that each had been deported and had returned to the United States a total of six times between them.
Sheriff Larry Spence told Fox News that they not only confessed to the attempted robbery that led to the murder but to several other robberies in the area. Spence said, “That’s typical of some of these crimes that have been happening in the area. There are several instances where people have been robbed while fishing. They pull up and try to rob them, take their money, jewelry and usually [their] vehicle.”
The National Border Control Council published its eulogy for agent Vega on Monday:
It is with extreme sadness that the National Border Control Council announces the murder of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega last night in Santa Monica, Texas. Border Patrol Agent Vega was spending time off with his family when two criminals attempt to rob him. Agent Vera was armed and fought back to protect his family. During the course of the ensuing firefight Agent Vega’s father was hit in the leg and Agent Vega was mortally wounded. After Vega fell, his family members continued to fight back….
We want to commend the Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement officers involved in the manhunt for Agent Vega’s killers. It is through their professionalism and tenacity that the wretched criminals who committed this crime will face the full measure of Texas justice.
On her Facebook page, Vega’s sister-in-law Natalie Gardere Vega wrote, “I will never understand why we have such heartless people in this world! An amazing man was taken from his family way too soon!”
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