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Tipsheet

Border Patrol Agent Shot by Suspected Smuggler Ahead of Biden's Visit

AP Photo/Eric Gay

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement on Thursday detailing an incident where a Border Patrol agent in New Mexico was shot multiple times by someone in a vehicle suspected of being involved in smuggling.

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According to CBP, the agent was saved by his body armor and was able to return fire as the vehicle sped away. The driver eventually crashed a few miles down the road. A total of six people were taken into custody. The agent was released from the hospital:

At approximately 11:25am MDT, on January 5, 2023, preliminary reports indicate a U.S. Border Patrol Agent assigned to the Lordsburg, New Mexico, Station was shot in the chest multiple times by an occupant of a suspected smuggling vehicle on New Mexico Highway 146. The agent was wearing his body armor at the time. The agent was able to return fire as the suspect’s vehicle sped away. Ultimately, the fleeing vehicle was involved in a rolled over accident a few miles down the road and agents took six persons into custody. Two occupants required additional medical attention and were flown to a trauma center in El Paso, Texas. The Border Patrol Agent was medically examined and released. An investigation has been initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The incident is also under review by the Office of Professional Responsibility. New Mexico State Police is also assisting in the investigation. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

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The shooting took place within the El Paso Sector, which encompasses the city of El Paso and to the west into New Mexico. President Joe Biden will be visiting the city of El Paso on Sunday to tour the area for the first time in his presidency amid the historic border crisis. El Paso has been reeling since December from hundreds of illegal immigrants camping on the streets since local shelters are overwhelmed by the high number of illegal crossings in the area.

Agents have been shot at along different parts of the southern border during the crisis, with most of the recent incidents occurring in the El Paso Sector or the Rio Grande Valley Sector. No agents were hit by the gunfire in those incidents.

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