On Sunday, August 3, 2014, Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr. was shot and killed near Santa Monica, Texas, as he attempted to take a law enforcement action during a robbery while he was fishing with his wife, children, and parents. Two illegal aliens approached them and attempted to rob them. Agent Vega was shot in the chest when he attempted to draw his weapon. His father was also shot and wounded as he returned fire at the men.
Both men fled the scene but were arrested a short time later. They were charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder, and other crimes. It is believed the same subjects had committed numerous similar robberies at the direction of a Mexican cartel. Both men had been previously deported numerous times.
On September 20, 2016, it was determined that, in light of information identified during the intensive investigation completed by the Willacy County Sheriff’s Department, Agent Vega’s actions were indicative of his law enforcement training and that he instinctively reacted, placing himself in harm’s way to stop a criminal act and protect the lives of others. His death was re-determined to have been in the line of duty.
Agent Vega, who was 36 years old, entered on duty with the U.S. Border Patrol on February 11, 2008, as a member of Academy Class 745.
Agent Vega was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the United States Border Patrol for six years. He is survived by his wife, three children, parents, and brother.