A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot an illegal immigrant after the agent was assaulted near the Arizona border with Mexico.
The agent responded at about 8 p.m. on Friday to the area where two suspected illegal aliens had crossed the border from Mexico. When he arrived at the scene, the agent encountered two adult males, according to information obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials by Breitbart Texas.
As the agent attempted to arrest one of the men a struggle ensued. The suspect gained control of the agent’s collapsible steel baton. The agent drew his duty issued weapon and fired – striking the suspect once in his left thigh.
The second suspect fled the scene but was captured some time later that evening.
The wounded suspect was transported to a Tucson hospital where he was treated for a “non-life threatening” wound.
The agent, who was not injured during the assault, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. This is normal procedure for an agent-involved shooting.
A joint investigation is being carried out by law enforcement officials with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, the CBP office of Professional Responsibility, and the FBI. Officials stated the Border Patrol is fully cooperating with the investigation.
Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol are “the most assaulted federal law enforcement (personell) in the United States,” newly-appointed Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told senators during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee in November.
Assaults against Border Patrol agents rose by twenty percent during FY 2016, Breitbart News reported. “… and year-to-date, we’re seeing an increase of assaults of 200% from the previous year-to-date,” Morgan testified. “It’s a dangerous job.”