EL PASO, Texas -- The U.S. Border Patrol station on Hondo Pass in El Paso is mourning the loss of one of its own.
Agent and canine handler Freddie Vasquez died this past week from complications related to Covid-19, according to his family. The San Diego Union Tribune and the Los Angeles Times reported that Vasquez, 43, delayed getting vaccinated and then contracted Covid-19 twice while on the job.
While Border Patrol officials declined to discuss the cause of Vasquez's death due to health privacy policies, co-workers told ABC-7 that Vasquez was an inspiration and will be greatly missed.
In addition, Vasquez received two medals for heroism for saving migrants from drowning.
Two other agents who worked closely with Vasquez say the Border Patrol has lost a mentor and a co-worker who would go to great lengths to get the job done and will be greatly missed.
“He was part of the station. He was history to the Border Patrol. If you spoke about El Paso station, it was Freddy Vasquez.” said Agent Ismael Vaquera.
Added Agent Gabriel Guzman: “He was a mentor to me, a leader."
Border patrol officials said they are making preparations to memorialize Vasquez and are also working to let Vasquez’s family adopt his canine co-worker Manny.