Border Patrol Inspector John A. Rector

Border Patrol Inspector John A. Rector

United States Department of Justice - Immigration and Naturalization Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, October 16, 1956

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John A. Rector

Border Patrol Inspector John Rector was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow agent who was discussing gun limitations with a third agent at the Chula Vista Sector headquarters in San Ysidro, California.

The two agents had unloaded the .357 caliber handgun while examining it, reloaded it, and placed it in a drawer as they began to discuss a different weapon. The discussion returned to the .357 and one of the agents removed it from the drawer, not realizing it had been reloaded.

When he pulled the trigger the gun discharged and a round passed through the wall and struck Agent Rector in the head as he sat at his desk. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to the wound several hours later.

Agent Rector was a WWI veteran and had served with the United States Border Patrol for 28 years. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and one granddaughter.


  • Age 58
  • Tour 28 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)
  • Location California

accidental discharge

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

Remembering you, my father, gone too soon, and now, so long ago. I know if you were alive today you would abhor the monstrosities being carried out at the Border. I heard you say many times that if you were as desperate for work, for food to feed your family, as these men who crossed the border illegally, you would do the same thing. You upheld the laws, but you were compassionate.

Carolyne Rector Burns
Daughter of John A. Rector

April 30, 2019

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