Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.


Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region

  • 95 Replies
  • 8481 Views
*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2271
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #75 on: February 11, 2018, 02:13:33 PM »
As best as I can remember, whatever occurred, occurred in the middle of the night. IIRC, the agents were on foot, responding to a signal from a triggered movement sensor and they felt certain the trigger had been human.  One possibility (just a possibility - I have no corroborating evidence) is that the agents were running pell-mell (possibly either chasing or fleeing something or both) in the desert and fell into a steep culvert that they'd failed to see in the dark of night. The injuries might have occurred from a long fall ending in contact with one or more hard objects. 

Edit: Just found this, from the local TV station report: The release also stated that evidence was developed that a Border Patrol dispatcher spoke with the injured partner of Martinez by telephone. During the call, while disoriented and unsure of his location, Martinez' partner stated that he and Martinez were hurt. The partner also made a statement to the effect of, "We ran into a culvert," "I ran into a culvert," or "I think I ran into a culvert." The dispatcher also wrote into a Border Patrol log, "[He] thinks they (both agents) ran into a culvert."

http://www.newswest9.com/story/37453323/el-paso-fbi-releases-findings-regarding-investigation-into-the-death-of-border-patrol-agent

Just floating another possibility.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 02:56:18 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2271
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #76 on: February 11, 2018, 02:14:51 PM »
It would be interesting to check the disposition of the moon and cloud cover that night.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2271
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #77 on: February 11, 2018, 02:31:35 PM »
Moon phase: evening of November 18, 2017.  New moon.  Incident occurred just before midnight.

http://www.moongiant.com/phase/11/18/2017

Edit: Some of you may be better than me at finding historical weather data. The one reliable report I've found so far indicates that clouds moved in over the Van Horn area during the afternoon and evening of November 18.  So.....moonless night with cloudy skies. Pretty dark by 11pm - as long as you're away from city lights reflecting off of the clouds.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 03:03:41 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline mediopelo

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 97
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #78 on: February 11, 2018, 03:24:23 PM »
There have been all sorts of conflicting reports in the news, including whether there was radio traffic about sensor readouts or even whether there was any radio traffic at all (one news story says that the alarm came through a phone call from the injured agent to his girlfriend), but it seems to be undisputed fact that the culvert where the two were found was on the frontage road, impossibly far to have been hit by a vehicle on the interstate, and that their weapons and equipment were not taken and their vehicles were undisturbed.

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3325
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #79 on: February 11, 2018, 07:10:06 PM »
There have been all sorts of conflicting reports in the news, including whether there was radio traffic about sensor readouts or even whether there was any radio traffic at all (one news story says that the alarm came through a phone call from the injured agent to his girlfriend), but it seems to be undisputed fact that the culvert where the two were found was on the frontage road, impossibly far to have been hit by a vehicle on the interstate, and that their weapons and equipment were not taken and their vehicles were undisturbed.

Since the facts released to date, and the autopsy, now apparently excludes assault by unknown persons, that leaves two possibilities:

a) an accidental fall into the arroyo (whether chasing someone or not).
b) a green-on-green incident.

An accidental fall by both seems a bit of a stretch. If it was a cloudy, moonless night, it is very unlikely they were running  (or even walking) over rough ground in complete darkness, even if chasing someone. It would be interesting to learn whether anyone searched for or observed fresh tracks of third parties...but there's been no claims of a third party on site other than the self-serving ones by the union and no evidence produced showing there was a third party.

It would be very difficult to navigate across even relatively flat ground without light (stepping/tripping on rocks, running into vegetation, etc.) and it does not seem logical that someone would do that. Yeah, using a light makes you a target, but thrashing around in the dark is very inefficient and a suspect simply isn't going to be located on a moonless night without light.

So, if it isn't an accident....
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2271
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline mule ears

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3905
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #81 on: April 03, 2018, 11:22:06 AM »
Very interesting and along the lines of other things I have read.  But you know we have to be sensational in this country even if it is not true.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3325
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #82 on: April 03, 2018, 12:26:47 PM »
Very interesting and along the lines of other things I have read.  But you know we have to be sensational in this country even if it is not true.

Any theories suggesting an inability to see in the dark are suspect. Nobody in law enforcement operates without light or night vision while moving about at night in poorly or unlit areas.

There is no doubt whatsoever the agents knew there was a culvert there...it's their job to know those things and it wasn't their first rodeo.

Resistance to fact, or the lack thereof, is not something you should expect from an organization that only can operate on fact/evidence. Clearly, there is another agenda strongly at work here.

I still want to know the extent of injury to both agents. Also, as noted earlier, a polygraph (while not conclusive nor admissable) would be very interesting regarding the claim of "no recollection."
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 12:32:30 PM by presidio »
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

*

Offline Talusman

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 507
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #83 on: April 03, 2018, 01:17:09 PM »
Occam's Razor. There was a little in house Code Red going on here, or just a problem between those two.
"To Think is easy. To Act is difficult. To Act as one Thinks is the most difficult!"

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2271
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #84 on: April 03, 2018, 01:50:57 PM »
Occam's Razor. There was a little in house Code Red going on here, or just a problem between those two.

Could work and still fit with most of the sheriff's musings. Agent #1 falls or is pushed over the edge of the unrailed bridge. Grappling, he pulls agent #2 over with him. Agent #1 hits hard on his right side and agent #2 then lands hard on top of him, compounding the injuries to the first.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 01:56:29 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3325
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #85 on: April 03, 2018, 06:25:17 PM »
Occam's Razor. There was a little in house Code Red going on here, or just a problem between those two.

That is a strong possibility but no one wants to talk about it for a number of reason.

Chief among them are the stain it puts on the agency for workplace violence (if such is true), and the other is it does not fit the political agenda of either the administration or the agency.

But, facts are stubborn things and eventually the truth will come out (if it's allowed to).
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

*

Offline rocketman

  • Off-Grid Space Cadet
  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 281
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #86 on: April 03, 2018, 07:37:43 PM »
The local sheriff's take on this.......

https://www.npr.org/2018/04/02/598872658/a-border-patrol-agent-dies-mysteriously-the-sheriff-has-a-simple-theory

I understand the tendency to theorize against government employees committing malfeasance. They deserve every bit of it. The article itself gets political simply to raise the hackles of those predisposed to such opinions. But in the sheriff's interview, there are a few interesting tidbits that point to an accident rather than a crime. He was at the scene before the feds had a chance to clean it up and make up a story.

Quote
On the night of Nov. 18, he was one of the first-responders to a report of a Border Patrol agent down in a culvert a drainage tunnel that runs under a roadway.
"This is the top of the culvert," Carrillo said, in a recent return visit to the site of the agent's death. "Agent Martinez was right there at the base, in the face-up position. And as you can see, it's pretty high."
The drop is about 10 feet onto hard ground.
The sheriff surmises that Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner parked on the far side of the interstate to check something out, they ran across the freeway, and right off the top of the culvert.

"They just didn't see the drop-off," he said, pointing to the top of the cement tunnel. "You see, no guard railing, no reflectors, it's a dark night."

This leads me to believe that perhaps they didn't have their flashlights blazing, that perhaps they were attempting to use the element of surprise (as they are likely trained to do) under circumstances where stealth is necessary.

Quote
The agents' union remains convinced it was murder. A union official, not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, noted the agents were hurt while investigating possible smuggling activity in the culvert.
"They both know there's a culvert there, and they both fell off? It doesn't make sense," said the union rep.

In the end, its just a theory. I hope we learn the truth some day, but I doubt the official record will resemble it. There are still many unknowns, like the presence of painkillers and the mechanics of how it all went down. Green-on-green is still a possibility with the grappling theory, but I think they just walked/ran off the culvert with no flashlights. Which begs the question, what was the location and condition of those flashlights?  :eusa_think:

« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 08:04:50 PM by rocketman »
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

*

Offline dprather

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2177
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #87 on: April 05, 2018, 10:07:44 AM »
Another thread that never dies...

I appreciate the on-going up-dating...
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3325
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #88 on: April 05, 2018, 11:15:07 AM »
Another thread that never dies...

Yep, and the ongoing lack of real information only fuels endless speculation.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

*

Offline rocketman

  • Off-Grid Space Cadet
  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 281
Re: Border Patrol Gunfight in the Big Bend Region
« Reply #89 on: April 05, 2018, 10:13:59 PM »
Another thread that never dies...

I appreciate the on-going up-dating...
Another thread that never dies...

Yep, and the ongoing lack of real information only fuels endless speculation.

I see that logical, opposing views are not necessarily welcomed here. You can always request that the thread be closed due to new information.
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2018 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments