Pilot Officer Ernesto Caballero-Vega

Pilot Officer Ernesto Caballero-Vega

Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico

End of Watch Saturday, April 5, 1997

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Ernesto Caballero-Vega

Police Officer Ernesto Caballero-Vega was shot and killed while pursuing two fugitives while off-duty in San Juan, PR.

Around 10:30am, Officer Caballero-Vega noticed two men when they carjacked an elder person and followed in pursuit while in plain clothing. When the carjackers reached Los Cappa Road in the Cupey neighborhood their vehicle crashed and a shootout broke out resulting in the shooting of the officer.

Both suspects had escaped from a prison ambulance days before and both were apprehended hours after the shooting. They were charged locally with weapons act, kidnapping and escape, and federally with carjacking under the felony murder rule, and were both sentenced to life in prison.

Officer Ernesto Caballero-Vega had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for four years and was named 1996 Police Officer of the Year. He was assigned to the San Juan Anti-Crime Unit (Saturacion). He is survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Life in Prison

foot pursuit, pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Cabellero-Vega,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Puerto Rico. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 5, 2022

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