9 On Your Side Border Watch
High ranking ATF supervisor apologizes for mistakes
Agent Terry's family says it's not enough
An official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is apologizing for an investigation that put guns in the hands of smugglers and drug cartels. Video by kgun9.comvideo
The ATF is apologizing for an operation that they say put rifles into the hands of Mexican cartels
Many speculate that the gun that killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was a product of Operation Fast and Furious
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KGUN9-TV) - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has apologized, admitting it made mistakes during an operation that put guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. But the brother of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who may have been killed by one of those guns said the apology isn't good enough.
Williams McMahon was the highest ranking ATF supervisor to testify in front of the congressional committee investigating the mistakes made in Operation Fast and Furious. Tuesday morning the committee got an apology.
"Let me be clear from the onset, as the ATF senior executive in charge of the western region, I share responsibility for mistakes that were made in the Fast and Furious investigation," McMahon said. He went on to add that those mistakes were made in the heat of battle and that he was sorry for what happened.
Then Operation Fast and Furious was implemented in 2009, its aim was to track the illegal flow of guns into Mexico. Fast and Furious focused on several Phoenix-area gun shops and sought to develop cases against gunrunning ring leaders who had eluded previous tactics.
Then, in December 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was mortally wounded during a shootout with border bandits in southern Arizona. One of the guns found at the scene was a weapon that was allowed to make its way into Mexico as part of the operation. Agent Terry's brother, Kent Terry, told KGUN9 News an apology is too little, too late.
"It could have been avoided, the whole situation. My brother would still be here if it wasn't for that silly operation of theirs. They wouldn't be going through this mess right now. So he wouldn't have to apologize for something so stupid," Terry said. "I'm sorry, an apology won't do it. I just want honest answers, that's it."
The Terry family told 9 On Your Side watching the developments during these hearings has been stressful. All they can do is wait to hear what they're hoping for.
"Just be honest, come clean. It's a federal brotherhood. My brother was a federal agent also it's a fellow brotherhood. I got a lot of police officer friends up here, they always got each other's back no matter what. For an agency like that to put their own guys in jeopardy, that's pretty sad," Kent Terry said.
During the hearing Tuesday, one of the ATF agents also apologized to the people of Mexico because those guns are undoubtedly being used to kill Mexican citizens who are caught up in drug violence.