Customs and Border Patrol confirmed last week that a Border Patrol Agent patrolling a rural area of southern Arizona near the U.S-Mexico border was attacked by a group of assailants and shot.
An unidentified group of individuals were arrested shortly after the shooting and processed on immigration violations. As of Monday authorities are yet to charge them with crimes related to the attack.
The agent, who was not named in a press conference held over the incident, was described by Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch as a veteran with 21 years of experience with the agency. He was patrolling alone early Tuesday in a rural area south of Arivaca, Arizona, about ten miles of the U.S-Mexico border.
The agent was attacked by a group of individuals, one of whom discharged a firearm at him several times. Having been shot, the agent returned fire. Outnumbered and possibly outgunned, the agent returned to his vehicle to administer first aid and call for backup. He was later evacuated to an area hospital to receive medical attention.
An Arizona rancher named Jim Chilton who owns the land on which the border patrol agent was assaulted claims to have been briefed by DHS about the incident. He was told that the agent would likely have been killed if not for the protective vest he was wearing, as the unidentified individuals who attacked him shot him in the chest.
The Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel is known to operate almost freely in southern Arizona, smuggling drugs ranging from marijuana to opiates and running a lucrative human trafficking business in which migrants are moved across the border. It’s extremely possible the armed individuals who assailed an Arizona border patrol agent had drug cartel connections.
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