EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot in the chest Thursday near Lordsburg, New Mexico, as he investigated a vehicle suspected of being involved in migrant smuggling.
The agent received multiple bullet impacts in the chest from an occupant of the vehicle; he survived because he was wearing body armor and was able to return fire as the vehicle sped away, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
The vehicle fled along NM Highway 146 and overturned a few miles away. Border agents arrived and took six individuals into custody from the vehicle, two of whom required additional medical attention. They were flown to a trauma center in El Paso, CBP said. Their condition is unknown.
The agent who was shot received medical attention and was released.
New Mexico state Sen. Crystal Diamond, R-Elephant Butte, said the agent was conducting a traffic stop of a vehicle allegedly carrying unauthorized migrants.
“While many details are still unknown, what is clear is that today one of our brave Border Patrol Agents took a bullet for this country and our community. I pray for a speedy recovery, and I am grateful that the unhinged situation at the border did not claim the life of this agent,” she said.
The incident is being investigated by the FBI, as are most cases involving an attack on a public servant. The New Mexico State Police is assisting.
CBP said its Office of Professional Responsibility also is reviewing the incident.
NM Highway 146 runs from Hachita to Interstate 10 east of Lordsburg. Hachita is 45 miles from Antelope Wells, New Mexico, which borders El Berrendo, Mexico.