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Naco Station would be named for Agent Terry

  • Updated

Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was killed in a shootout with suspected border bandits on Dec. 14, 2010 near Rio Rico, Ariz.

Federal legislators have introduced a bill to name the Border Patrol's Naco Station after slain agent Brian Terry, who was killed last December in a shootout near Rio Rico.

The "Brian A. Terry Memorial Act" was introduced late Wednesday and has 52 co-sponsors, including Democrats and Republicans, said Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office in a press release. Giffords' office worked closely with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to draft the bill. (You can read full text of the bill by opening the PDF to the left.)

Terry, 40, of Michigan, was a member of a specially trained tactical unit known as Bortac. On Dec. 14, 2010, Terry and his crew were targeting a "rip crew" that robbed and assaulted drug runners and illegal immigrants in Peck Canyon.

The deadly confrontation began when the members of the rip crew refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two Border Patrol agents fired beanbags at the men, who responded with gunfire, killing Terry with single gunshot to the back. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.

One person has been charged in connection with the murder, and there are charges pending against other suspects whom officials are trying to locate, according to an indictment from the U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed in May.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 34, of Sinaloa, Mexico, is facing second-degree murder charges, the indictment says. He is not believed to be the person who shot Terry.

Terry's death triggered congressional inquiries into the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Mexican gun-smuggling investigation called "Operation Fast and Furious" after two Romanian-made assault rifles were recovered at the scene that are believed to have been sold to straw buyers in Phoenix and tracked into Mexico under the operation.

The Terry family has retained former Arizona U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton to determine if there is any legal action to take in connection with his slaying.

Terry was the 10th agent to die on duty in the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector since 1926 and the first agent shot to death in the Sector since 1998. Terry was buried in his hometown near Detroit on Dec. 22, and hundreds attended his memorial service January in Tucson.

Before serving in the Border Patrol, Terry was in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a police officer in Michigan.

If passed, the Naco Station would become the second Border Patrol station named in honor of a fallen agent. The Murrieta Station, in California, is named after agents Theodore L. Newton, Jr. and George F. Azrak, both killed on duty in 1967, the press release says. 

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Related to this story

The people accused of killing U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry were deported from the United States three times in the year before the shooting happened Dec. 14, says an indictment unsealed Friday.

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