DHS officials report one agent dead, another wounded.
PHOENIX (AP) — A U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another wounded in a shooting early Tuesday near the U.S.-Mexico line in Arizona, according to the Border Patrol.
The agents were shot while patrolling on horseback in Naco, Arizona, shortly after midnight Tuesday, the Border Patrol said in a statement.
A third agent was not harmed, according to George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing about 17,000 agents.
The wounded agent was airlifted to a hospital after being shot in the ankle and buttocks, the Border Patrol said. He was in surgery and was expected to recover, McCubbin said.
The shooting occurred after an alarm was triggered on one of the many sensors along the border and the three agents went to investigate, said Cochise County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas.
Authorities have not identified any suspects, Capas said.
She said is not known whether the agents returned fire.
Authorities did not identify the agents, who were assigned to the Naco station.
The last U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot on duty was Brian Terry, who was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits near the border in December 2010. The shooting was later linked to the U.S. government’s Fast and Furious operation against gun smuggling.
The border patrol station in Naco was recently named after Terry.
The FBI and Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, which were investigating the shooting, did not immediately return calls.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.