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Border Patrol identifies man shot at checkpoint

Posted at 10:29 AM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 21:28:18-04

Border Patrol says a man tried to shoot up a roadside checkpoint near Tombstone Wednesday.

The agents are fine.  The man's is shot and in the hospital.  It's still not clear why the attack happened.

Border Patrol says the checkpoint near Tombstone was closed when a pickup plowed through the barricades and a man started shooting.

Agents say the man was firing out the window.         

Two agents drew their guns and shot back.

Acting Tucson Sector Chief Felix Chavez says, “The agents, fearing for their lives immediately returned fire, striking the driver once in the upper left arm, stopping the assault."        

An agent with emergency medical care treated the man until a helicopter could move him to Banner University Medical Center in Tucson.

Agents say 76 year old Gary Smith is the man who shot at them.  He's from Tombstone.  At this news conference they did not have any information on anything Smith may have said, or any reason for the attack. 

Chavez says, “We can confirm there was two weapons found at the scene that the suspect had in his possession and again, the investigation will determine what other weapons were available to him."      

About a half hour before the shooting a woman told the Cochise County Sheriff's Department her 76 year old father, who we now know was Gary Smith, had guns, alcohol, and was headed from Tombstone to Sierra Vista.  The Sheriff's Department said the man had medical issues.  The Sheriff's Department told local law enforcement to try to locate the man but they did not find him in time to prevent the shooting.