Border patrol agent held their baby in one arm as he shot his girlfriend, Texas cops say

Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, of Mission, Texas, is charged with attempted murder and two counts of child endangerment in Hidalgo County.
Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, of Mission, Texas, is charged with attempted murder and two counts of child endangerment in Hidalgo County.

An off-duty Customs and Border Protection agent is facing an attempted murder charge and two counts of endangering a child after police say he shot his girlfriend twice — with their 1-year-old daughter also in close range.

Ricardo Cepeda, Jr., of Mission, Texas, is being held in Hidalgo County Jail in lieu of $800,00 bond, according to jail records.

“What was disturbing was that she reported that Cepeda was holding the child at the same time that he was discharging the weapon towards her,” Edinburg Police Lt. Oscar Treviño said, according to KENS.

Cepeda, 33, is accused of shooting his girlfriend, Brenda Hernandez, 34, twice, early Sunday morning in Edinburg when she said she wanted to break off their relationship, according to the McAllen Monitor. McAllen and Mission are South Texas border towns separated by just five miles, while Edinburg lies just over five miles north of McAllen, in a relatively small area along the border with a total population of more than 300,000 people.

When Hernandez told him she wanted to break up, he took their daughter in one arm and pulled out a gun with his other, WOAI reported. The Monitor reported that the gun he used to shoot her once in the chest and once in the back was a .40 caliber pistol.

Police found Hernandez in an SUV with two gunshot wounds outside the couple’s home at around 3 a.m. Sunday, Treviño told WOAI.

Edinburg police found the baby unharmed, inside the couple’s home on Zoey Street, the station reported. Cepeda was booked into jail Monday.

Hernandez, meanwhile, is “doing well” at the hospital, Treviño told KENS.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed to McClatchy that Cepeda is a border patrol agent of 11 years, currently in an off-duty capacity. A statement from the agency obtained by McClatchy reads:

“CBP stresses integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees, agents and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. CBP does not tolerate actions by any employee that would tarnish the reputation of our agency. CBP is fully cooperating with the Edinburg Police Department investigation.”

If found guilty, Cepeda could face anywhere from two to 20 years in prison.

US Customs and Border Protection released a video showing a civil unrest readiness exercise. The exercise was held at the Calexico West Port of Entry on Dec. 7, 2018.

Matt is an award-winning real time reporter and a University of Texas at Austin graduate who’s been based at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 2011. His regional focus is Texas, and that makes sense. He’s only lived there his whole life.