Elite Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed during a firefight in southern Arizona about 13 miles north of the Mexico/Nogales border late Tuesday night.
The multiple agent and bandit gun battle erupted after Border Patrol agents spotted known-outlaws who have been targeting unsuspecting illegal immigrants passing through a violent smuggling corridor in Arizona, according to National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner. “Our agent was murdered in cold blood by criminals running around out there without impunity.”
"The border is not secure," Bonner said. "Those who say that it's secure are either misinformed or they're being disingenuous. If you have bandits operating that far north into the United States and there's enough activity to sustain that it tells you there's a lot of traffic getting by the Border Patrol."
The shootout claimed the life of Terry and took place in the Peck Canyon region near quiet Rio Rico, Arizona.
Local law enforcement was called to the scene after the shooting ceased and medical assistance was required.
"A little after 11 p.m., we got a call from Border Patrol headquarters requesting backup and emergency medical service. There had been shots fired, and one of their agents had been shot. We did send our deputies up there. We did contact the ambulance service. They did respond to an area known as Peck Canyon. By the time the ambulance personnel got there, the agent had already passed away," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada told the Arizona Republic.
The murder comes after a tumultuous year for Arizona. The state was sued by the federal government after state lawmakers passed SB1070, a law that would allow local law enforcement to crack down on the increased violence related to illegal immigration that has plagued the state for years.
This latest murder spotlights the nation’s borders and the inability of Department of Homeland Security to secure the 2,000 miles international border and prevent narco-style violence form creeping into the U.S.
"It is a stark reminder of the very real dangers our men and women on the front lines confront everyday as they protect our communities and the American people," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Officers on the scene say Terry and the other Border Patrol agents came across a group of five suspected bandits, who didn’t appear to be hauling drugs, but were carrying weapons.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu points to a December 11 incident in Arizona where “so-called bandits” have been preying on unsuspecting illegal immigrants.
During the investigation, “it was discovered the Crown Victoria had been outfitted to represent a law enforcement vehicle. The vehicle had red and blue strobe lights, orange and white strobe lights, a siren, spotlight and front push bar,” Babeu’s press release said.
“It is believed that based upon the positioning of the vehicles, the fact the rear windows of the Crown Victoria were rolled down, the trunk open with a bail of marijuana in it, a black ski mask and black hoodie sweater found next to the driver's seat, that this was an attempted rip of the marijuana in the Ford Taurus by a ‘rip crew.’ This case shows how those responsible for drug and human trafficking are attempting to conduct their business under the disguise of law enforcement. This tactic not only puts law enforcement at risk but also the citizens of Pinal County.”
Local law enforcement was not alone in its criticism with the continued violence.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said, "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," Brewer said.
This event is just one in a series of events that put residents at risk in their own country. Many of these criminal-illegal aliens partake in shootings, robberies, rape, murder, drug smuggling and dealing on a daily basis costing the taxpayers in Arizona untold sums of money in court and incarceration costs.
Border Patrol Agent Terry has now become the latest sacrifice on the altar of political correctness, according to David J. Stoddard, Chairman, National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers.
“We call for immediate implementation of our Comprehensive Immigration Enforcement proposal. We call for eliminating all restrictions that impede or hinder Border Patrol operations along the U.S./Mexico border on public lands,” Stoddard said.
“We (also) call for the deployment of U.S. military units to help secure the border and thus eliminate the violence generated by drug cartels for control of drug routes into the USA,” he finished.
The murder of Terry, a three-year veteran of the Border Patrol and retired Marine, brings to mind others who have lost their lives to border violence- Arizona rancher Robert Krentz and San Diego Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas, not to mention the hundreds who suffer from crimes committed by illegal immigrants on a daily basis.
Ranking member of Congress and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Elect Lamar Smith, (R-Texas) referred to this murder as unacceptable.
"The murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is a sad reminder of the real-life dangers that Americans and our law enforcement agents face along the southwest border," Smith said in a statement. "What will it take to make the Obama administration realizes that we must do more to secure our border and keep Americans safe? Earlier this year, a rancher in Arizona was killed on his own property. The suspect is believed to have been an illegal immigrant. Last night, Border Patrol Agent Terry lost his life for simply doing his job. How many more Americans will die before the Obama administration wakes up and starts taking illegal immigration seriously?"
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