Border Patrol agent shot, killed near Peck Canyon
Web Producer: Layla Tang
RIO RICO, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - After an all day manhunt, the U.S. Border Patrol has detained a fifth person in connection with the deadly shooting of Agent Brian Terry. Four other men were arrested immediately after the shooting. Investigators believe that the men detained are bandits from Mexico preying on illegal immigrants. One of the men located by authorities was shot and is being treated at an area hospital.
Border Patrol officials confirm Agent Terry died early Wednesday morning after being shot late Tuesday near Peck Canyon. Peck Canyon is just north of the US-Mexico border along I-19 near Rio Rico.
Agent Terry was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and is survived by his parents, a brother and two sisters. He was 40 years old. Agent Terry had a proud history of serving his country as he also served three years in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1994. According to a union official, Agent Terry was a member of the elite Border Tactical unit (BORTAC) which is similiar to a SWAT team.
A statement released by the Border Patrol's union, Local 12544, said, "This is one more example of the sacrifices made by front-line agents, and it's a major reason we are continually outraged by activists and self-serving politicians in Washington, DC who sell us out with incessant talk about 'amnesty' for illegal aliens. While they play games, our country continues to be invaded and Border Patrol agents continue to pay the price."
U.S. Senator John McCain released the following statement regarding Agent Terry's death:
"This event is yet another reminder of the dangers the men and women of the Border Patrol face every day as they put their lives on the line to protect the American people. The increased violence in the border region demands that Congress provide the necessary resources and personnel to ensure the safety of all Americans, especially border patrol agents stationed on the border, and fulfill the Federal government's responsibility to secure our border."
Rep. Raúl Grijalva condemned the killing and further called on both parties to further address ways to decrease violence along the border. "Neither we nor our neighbors want to see the border region become more dangerous, either for civilians or the brave men and women who protect them. This crime should not deter the many peaceful efforts underway to improve the quality of life for people on both sides of the border."
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords also released a statement regarding Terry's death. "I am deeply saddened by the senseless murder of Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in the line of duty while protecting our nation's borders," she said. "This is a tragedy that deserves nothing less than the swiftest and strongest response. It is a stark reminder that our borders are not yet secure. The full efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are focused on bringing justice to all those involved.
The Arizona Cattlemen's Association released this statement to 9 On Your Side:
"Each day a special group of men and women put their lives on the line for the safety and security of this country. The agents of the United States Border Patrol are normally rancher's first responders and usually the only law enforcement on our ranches across the Southern Arizona Border. Today we are deeply saddened by the loss of Agent Brian Terry, a patrol officer from the Nogales Border Patrol Station. We are thankful for his dedicated service to protecting the United States of America."
CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin also spoke out about the killing. In a statement he noted "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 incident investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will be in Arizona tomorrow. She's meeting with Border Patrol agents in Tucson and Nogales.
Since 1926, according to the U.S. Border Patrol, at least 15 other agents stationed throughout Arizona have been killed in the line of duty. Of those Arizona agents killed, three died as a result of gunshot wounds. In 1998 Agent Alexander Kirpnick was shot while on patrol near Nogales, Arizona. He was confronting several suspects when he was shot in the head. Lon Parker was shot in 1926 during a battle with an illegal liquor smuggler. During the same year, William McKee was shot and killed after he tried to stop a group traveling from Mexico.