Bandits who prey on illegals gun down Border Patrol agent

December 16, 2010

By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times

A U.S. Border Patrol agent attempting to arrest bandits who prey on illegal immigrants was killed during a gunfight about 10 miles north of the U.S.Mexico border near Rio Rico, Ariz., 60 miles south of Tucson.

Agent Brian A. Terry, 40, was waiting with three other agents in a remote area north of Nogales late Tuesday when the gunbattle with the bandits erupted. None of the other agents was injured, but one of the suspects was wounded.

Mr. Terry, who joined the agency three years ago and was a member of the Border Patrol’s elite Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, died early Wednesday. Four of the suspected shooters were taken into custody. A fifth is still being sought.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano described the shooting as “an unconscionable act of violence” against those who serve and defend the country.

“Agent Terry was killed in the line of duty while confronting several suspects near Rio Rico, Ariz. It is a stark reminder of the very real dangers our men and women on the front lines confront every day as they protect our communities and the American people,” she said.

“We are working with other federal, state and local authorities to ensure those responsible for this horrendous act are held responsible,” she said. “We will leave no stone unturned as we seek justice for the perpetrators. We will honor his memory by remaining resolute and committed to the serious task of securing our nation’s borders.”

A Homeland Security official said Ms. Napolitano will travel to Arizona on Thursday and Friday to meet with Border Patrol agents and employees in Nogales and Tucson.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the state was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting. She said federal and state authorities, including those in Arizona, would “continue to investigate and attempt to bring to justice those who are responsible for this heinous crime.

“Although we needed no reminder of the ever-increasing dangers along our southern border, this tragedy serves as stark notice that the threats facing all who serve in protecting our state and nation are real, and are increasing on a daily basis,” she said. “We need to pray for all those in uniform who perform duties that allow us to live in a safe and secure land.”<t-2>

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