Policeman Wilfredo Cotto-Aponte

Policeman Wilfredo Cotto-Aponte

Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico

End of Watch Tuesday, May 18, 1982

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Wilfredo Cotto-Aponte

Officer Wilfredo Cotto-Aponte was shot and killed while moving illegal residents off of private land in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

At about 10:30 am, police units arrived at the Community Villa Sin Miedo in Rio Grande with a court order to remove a group of people who lived illegally on the private land. After an hour of eviction notices by the police, a police tactical unit entered the community to begin the forced eviction. When Officer Cotto-Aponte walk into a dorm, a man shot him in the throat. Officer Cotto-Aponte was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The assailant was arrested at the scene, and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Officer Cotto-Aponte worked with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 11 years, and was assigned to the Metropolitan Tactical Operations Unit. He is survived by his wife and two sons; both who later joined the Puerto Rico Police Department.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 11 years, 3 months
  • Badge 1014

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Life sentence


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Cotto-Aponte,
On today, the 40th 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

May 18, 2022

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