Border Patrol Agent Killed in Southern Arizona
A shootout between border patrol agents and bandits in the rugged canyons near Mexico's border left one officer dead and a suspect injured, a union official said Wednesday.
The Snooper Report: TUCSON, Ariz. -- A U.S. Border Patrol agent was fatally shot after he encountered several suspects in southern Arizona, officials announced Wednesday.
Agent Brian A. Terry was killed late Tuesday near Rio Rico, Ariz., according to a statement released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.
At least four suspects are in custody and another is still being pursued.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Terry family for their tragic loss," CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin said in a statement. "Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act."
The FBI and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office are investigating Terry's death.
KOLD-TV in Tucson reports the incident occurred just after 11 p.m. Tuesday in the Peck Canyon area north of Nogales.
Prior to Terry's death, the last fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent was on July 23, 2009, when Robert Rosas, 30, was killed by unidentified assailants while responding to suspicious activity in a known smuggling corridor near Campo, Calif., CBP officials said.
In May, President Obama authorized the deployment of up to an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border to provide support for surveillance, reconnaissance and narcotics enforcement to augment CBP and U.S. Customs and Immigration (ICE) authorities already in place. Those deployments began on Aug. 1. Obama also requested $600 million in supplemental funds for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities.
"Over the past year and a half, this administration has pursued a new border security strategy with an unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement released on July 19.
"These troops will provide direct support to federal law enforcement officers and agents working in high-risk areas to disrupt criminal organizations seeking to move people and goods illegally across the Southwest border," the statement continued.
Napolitano also announced in July that more than $47 million in fiscal year 2010 Operation Stonegraden grants for the Southwest border states to support law enforcement personnel, overtime and related costs. Nearly 80 percent of the funding will go to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, up from 59 percent in 2008.
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