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Location: El Paso area, Texas, United States

I'm a 40-something Christian, conservative, pro-life, Constitutionalist, motorcycle-riding, pick-up truck driving, wife, mother, state employee, ham radio operator and part-time college student, enlisted in the Texas State Guard. Everything else is subject to revision without notice.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Agent, El Paso native killed

By Stephanie Sanchez / El Paso Times

A Border Patrol agent struck and killed by a vehicle being driven by a suspected drug smuggler Saturday near Yuma, Ariz., was identified Sunday as an El Pasoan who graduated from El Paso High School.

Senior Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar Jr., 32, was killed when he attempted to stop a suspected smuggler who had illegally entered the country from Mexico, said Michael Bernacke, a spokesman for the agency's Yuma sector.

Bernacke said Aguilar was trying to place spike strips in the path of a Hummer and a Ford pickup on Interstate 8 when the vehicle driven by the suspected smuggler hit and killed Aguilar. The death occurred about 9 a.m. Saturday near the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, which is in southeastern California about 20 miles west of Yuma.

Officials said both vehicles fled into Mexico.

The FBI is leading the investigation, along with other federal, state and local authorities.

Bernacke said Mexican authorities also have been contacted and that they are aiding the search for the suspects.

According to the Customs and Border Protection Web site, Aguilar is the first agent to be killed by smuggling suspects in several years. Most other agents killed in the line of duty died in crashes or drownings.

Luis "Louie" Aguilar Sr., a 41st District Court bailiff, who is a candidate for Precinct 4 constable, said his son, Luis Jr., played baseball and wrestled at El Paso High School.

He said his son graduated from the school but he said he would not comment further because he was ordered by Border Patrol agents to not speak to the media about his son's life.

Luis Aguilar Jr. lived in Yuma with his wife and two children.

Bernacke said Luis Aguilar Jr. began his career in the Yuma sector six years ago.

"Today we mourn the loss of one of our own," Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar said in a statement. "This serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers our agents face every day while securing our nation's border and our way of life."

The Imperial Sand Dunes is popular with off-road vehicle enthusiasts but is also frequently used by smugglers trying to bring people or drugs into the country from Mexico.

Stephanie Sanchez may be reached at ssanchez@elpasotimes.com; 546-6137.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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One of our guys. Our prayers are with the Aguilar family.

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