Karisch says, "the agent called for emergency assistance from his patrol vehicle service radio. The initial indication was that the agent was attacked by an unknown number of assailants. One of whom fired several shots at the agent in close proximity. The agent was struck several times and is believed that he returned fire."
The agent was wearing a bullet proof vest at the time of the shooting.
"Responding agents coordinated his emergency evacuation via air ambulance to a local hospital. Border patrol tactical unit was immediately deployed by air and marine aircraft into the area where they located and arrested multiple subjects for immigration violations, " says Karisch.
FULL BORDER PATROL STATEMENT:
A U.S. Border Patrol agent was injured in the early morning hours of Tuesday,
June 12, while investigating sensor activity on foot near Ruby Road and Chimney Canyon, south of Arivaca, Arizona.
At approximately 4:30 a.m., the agent called for emergency assistance from his patrol vehicle's service radio. Initial indications are that the agent was attacked by an unknown number of assailants, one of whom fired several shots at the agent in close proximity. The agent was struck several times and it is believed that he returned fire.
The agent, a 21-year Border Patrol veteran and experienced paramedic, was able to administer self-care and reach his vehicle. Responding agents coordinated his emergency evacuation via air ambulance to a local hospital.
The Border Patrol Tactical unit was immediately deployed by Air and Marine aircraft to the area where they located and arrested multiple subjects illegally present in the United States, though it is unknown if the subjects are connected to this incident at this time. This area is characterized as rural and mountainous, with limited infrastructure and technology.
The FBI is leading the investigation with the assistance of DHS Office of Inspector General, CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.
If anyone has information believed to be relevant to this incident, please call your local FBI office or report it to tips.fbi.gov
National Border Patrol Council Vice President, Art Del Cueto says being alone while protecting the United States border isn't uncommon for BP agents. "Because of the vast area we patrol and the amount of agents we have - at times the easiest way to cover more area and make sure the border is secure is by being by ourselves."
Del Cueto adds that it is also common for agents to alert others to areas where they're checking for activity.
It is unknown if the people detained are connected to the shooting.