23-year-old American dies after shootout with border patrol agents at port of entry near San Diego

Posted at 9:22 PM, Jun 05, 2019

SAN DIEGO — A man suspected of opening fire on U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at a border checkpoint on Monday has been indentified.

San Diego Police say 23-year-old Travis James Eckstein, a U.S. citizen, was shot and killed during a shootout with CBP officers Monday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Eckstein was driving from Mexico into the U.S. and refused to stop for officers. Officers say Eckstein tried to drive through an inspection area, before a vehicle blocked his exit.

He then began to fire on officers before he exited his vehicle continued shooting. Officers returned fire and struck Eckstein.

RELATED: Suspected gunman killed in shootout at San Ysidro Port of Entry identified as US citizen

First responders attempted life-saving measures on Eckstein, but he did not survive his injuries.

Seven CBP officers were involved in the shooting but, miraculously, none were injured.

Two male Chinese nationals, ages 18 and 27, were found in the rear of Eckstein's truck, and were interviewed and released to CBP officials.

“The CBP officers risked their own lives to protect the public from this gunman,” Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations, said in a release. “Human smuggling is always dangerous. This unfortunate incident demonstrates the total disregard smuggling organizations have for what they consider to be cargo.”

RELATED: Man killed in shootout with CBP officers at Port of Entry

A motive for the shooting was still under investigation Wednesday.

Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to contact the SDPD Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.