A U.S. Border Patrol officer was shot three times in the legs early Sunday while pursuing a suspected illegal alien down an alley, authorities said.
The officer, William Beaumet, was in critical condition at Palomar Hospital in Escondido where he was taken after being shot twice in one leg and once in the other, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The shooting occurred after Beaumet and other Border Patrol officers had stopped a group of suspected illegal aliens in a "routine operation," officials said.
One of the suspects bolted and ran down a nearby alley.
Beaumet was the fifth on-duty border patrol officer to be shot in the last 20 months.