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Border Agent, Hit by Rock, Wounds Suspect in Scuffle

A suspected illegal alien was in good condition at a San Diego hospital Tuesday after being shot by a Border Patrol agent who was hit with a rock at trouble spot along the border.

The officer opened fire after being hit in the head about 11 a.m. by at least one rock, said Michael Gregg, a spokesman for the Border Patrol in San Diego.

The attack occurred in U. S. territory near a flood-control levee that runs just north of the border and west of the port of entry at San Ysidro, Gregg said.

The area is a frequent site of violent confrontations between U. S. authorities and Mexican bandits who prey upon those illegally crossing the border.

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Gregg refused to identify the officer who fired the shots but said he was struck with the rock while trying to take an illegal alien into custody.

The agent was in good condition at a local hospital, Gregg said.

The man wounded by the agent was identified as Francisco Ruiz, who was shot once in the abdomen and once in the groin. He was taken by Life Flight Helicopter to UC San Diego Medical Center.

Another suspected illegal alien, who was not unidentified, was also in custody in connection with the case, Gregg said. The Border Patrol spokesman said it was unclear whether Ruiz or the other suspect was the person who attacked the agent.

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San Diego homicide detectives are investigating the matter, authorities said. The Border Patrol is also conducting an internal review, as is routine, Gregg said.


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