WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump responded angrily late Sunday to news of a U.S. border patrol agent’s death at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
Venting his frustrations on Twitter, Trump referred to Rogelio Martinez’s death at the hands of two illegal immigrants as further proof of the need to build a wall dividing the United States from Mexico.
“Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt,” the president tweeted. “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”
The attack, which occurred Sunday in Texas along the U.S. border to Mexico, fueled rage on social media, with many of the president’s supporters demanding that action be taken.
While specific details on what occurred remain unclear, law enforcement specialists say they believe Martinez was beaten to death with rocks.
“We strongly believe rocks were what was used,” NBPC Vice President Art Del Cueto told El Paso affiliate KTSM (http://www.elpasoproud.com/news/border-patrol-agent-dies-near-van-horn/860106591).
“(Martinez and his partner) were out there responding to a censor and one agent was murdered,” said Del Cueto. “I know people don’t want to jump to conclusions and say stuff but the reality is but you hear the talk about individuals trying to get a better life and enter this country to get a better life but the reality is they will stop at nothing including killing a federal agent — including taking someone’s life which is what happened.”
The Department of Homeland Security on Monday sent condolences to the fallen border patrol agent’s loved ones.
“On behalf of the quarter of a million frontline officers and agents of DHS, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Agent Martinez and to the agent who is in serious condition,” acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said in a statement.
Martinez’s partner, who has not yet been identified, survived the attack but remains in serious condition.
Building a wall along the country’s southern border was an issue that then-candidate Donald Trump campaigned heavily upon during the 2016 election. According to The White House, completion of the wall before his first term ends remains one of the president’s “top priorities”.