When 36-year-old Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. took his family fishing over the weekend close to home in the Rio Grand Valley, he had no idea he wouldn't be going back to work. When his family jumped in the car that day to spend time with their father, husband and son on his day off, they never expected to watch him murdered in cold blood right in front of them.
But that's exactly what happened. From the National Border Patrol Council:
It is with extreme sadness that the National Border Patrol Council announces the murder of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega last night in Santa Monica, TX. Border Patrol Agent Vega was spending his time off with his family when two criminals attempted to rob him. Agent Vega was armed and fought back to protect his family. During the course of the ensuing firefight Agent Vega's father was hit in the leg and Agent Vega was mortally wounded. After Agent Vega fell, his family members continued to fight back.
Agent Vega's actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Border Patrol and his will be a place, deserved of honor and glory, when the final story of the United States Border Patrol is written. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
We want to commend the Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement officers involved in the manhunt for Agent Vega's killers. It is through their professionalism and tenacity that the wretched animals who committed this crime will face the full measure of Texas justice.
Vega's family members who were with him that day included his father, mother, his three sons and his wife. He was murdered by illegal immigrant thugs Ismael Hernandez and Gustavo Tijerin. Both of the men are from Matamoros and Tijerin has been deported multiple times for involvement in other violent crimes.
Court records show that Tijerina has a previous criminal history including DWI, unlawful carrying a weapon, assault family violence and felony marijuana possession going back to 2007.
What does it take?
Please keep the Vega family in your thoughts and prayers.