A Border Patrol agent shot an illegal border crosser in the abdomen Tuesday morning northwest of Nogales.
The man who was shot, a 30-year-old from Nogales, Sonora, is being airlifted to a Tucson hospital. It’s unclear if the injuries are life-threatening, said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada.
The Border Patrol called the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office at 9:40 a.m. to report the shooting, Estrada said. It’s unknown when the shooting occurred, he said.
Here’s what they know so far about what happened:
Agents in the Border Patrol’s horse patrol were working near Walker Canyon in a remote area two miles northeast of Peña Blanca Lake when they came upon 12 illegal border crossers. The group fled from the agents and one got knocked down.
Shortly after, shots were fired.
The 30-year-old was shot at least once in the abdomen. Due to the remoteness of the location, the Border Patrol had to walk him out of the rugged area to a spot where a helicopter could land.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies did not find any weapons or drugs at the scene and are still trying to figure what happened, Estrada said. The Border Patrol agent involved in the shooting hasn’t given Estrada’s deputies his account of the incident.
“We are still in the preliminary stages,” Estrada said. “We don’t know whether the victim attempted to assault or do something to the agent.”
Deputies are currently interviewing the other 11 illegal border crossers apprehended by the Border Patrol. They hope to know more later today.
“We are hoping that through them, we can get a clear picture of what happened,” Estrada said.
The Border Patrol confirmed that there was an officer-involved shooting in Walker Canyon Tuesday morning but spokesman Mario Escalante said the agency can’t discuss any details, citing an FBI investigation that has already begun.
Stay tuned to Starnet for more updates.
Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.