by Ildefonso Ortiz 13 Aug 2014, 1:12 PM PDT

MCALLEN, Texas – Investigators in South Texas have found what they believe to be the weapon that two illegal aliens used to murder a U.S. Border Patrol agents who had been fishing with his family.

Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega had been fishing with his father, mother, wife, and two children in the southern part of Willacy County on August 3 when two illegal aliens from Mexico tried to rob them at gunpoint. Agent Vega fought back by firing his gun at the robbers but in the process was mortally wounded in front of his family, while his father was shot in the hip but survived.

On Wednesday, Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence told Breitbart Texas that his investigators were processing an area near the same home where they had previously arrested 40-year-old Ismael Hernandez and 30-year-old Gustavo Tijerina. A justice of the peace charged both men with capital murder meaning they could face the death penalty if convicted. One of the two men had been previously deported four times yet both men lived in the Rio Grande Valley, authorities said.

In the area investigators found a handgun that they believe was the weapon used to murder Agent Vega during the botched robbery, however forensic work must be done to make a final determination, Spence said.

“If it is the weapon it can only help strengthen our case and better prove that they shot him,” the sheriff said. “Right now we are glad that the weapon was recovered and it didn’t fall into the wrong hands were it could have been used to commit further atrocities.”

While Agent Vega’s murder took place when he was off duty, since he died fighting to protect his family from criminal aliens, officials with the National Border Patrol Council are pushing to have the agency reclassify his death as a line of duty death which would give the family access to several benefits.