4 in custody in shooting death of Border Patrol agent; 1 at large


by Catherine Holland and The Associated Press


Posted on December 15, 2010 at 7:46 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 15 at 6:08 PM

NOGALES, Ariz. -- Four suspects are in custody in the shooting death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent  in Southern Arizona overnight and one suspect remains at large.

Border Patrol spokesman Eric Cantu identified the agent as Brian A. Terry, 40. He was shot and killed after encountering several suspects near Rio Rico.

The shooting happened just after 11 p.m. Tuesday in the Peck Canyon area north of Nogales. That's in Santa Cruz County.

Very few details about the shooting were immediately available. No information about the suspects has been released.

Terry served more than three years in the U.S. Border Patrol. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1994.

Terry was a native of Detroit and is survived by his parents, a brother and two sisters.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Terry family for their tragic loss,” said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin in a statement. “Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act.”

The FBI is investigating the agent's death in conjunction with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.


Statement from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

“The fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry last night is an unconscionable act of violence against the men and women of the Border Patrol and all those who serve and defend our country.

"Agent Terry was killed in the line of duty while confronting several suspects near Rio Rico, Ariz. It is a stark reminder of the very real dangers our men and women on the frontlines confront every day as they protect our communities and the American people.

"We are working with other federal, state and local authorities to ensure those responsible for this horrendous act are held responsible. We will leave no stone unturned as we seek justice for the perpetrators.

"I want to extend my deepest condolences to Agent Terry’s family at this difficult time. We will honor his memory by remaining resolute and committed to the serious task of securing our nation’s borders. I ask that all of us keep Agent Terry and his family in our prayers.”

Statement from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer:

“The entire State of Arizona is shocked and saddened by the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, killed in the line of duty while serving near Rio Rico, Arizona. Agent Terry was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and is survived by his parents, a brother and two sisters.

“Our prayers are with his family, as well as all Border Patrol Agents and their families. Law enforcement agencies continue to investigate and attempt to bring to justice those who are responsible for this heinous crime. Meanwhile, I have ordered state flags to be flown at half staff in tribute to Agent Terry. Although we needed no reminder of the ever increasing dangers along our southern border, this tragedy serves as stark notice that the threats facing all who serve in protecting our state and nation are real, and are increasing on a daily basis.

“We need to pray for all those in uniform who perform duties that allow us to live in a safe and secure land.  We must never become insensitive to the risks and sacrifices made by men and women who help ensure our freedom and liberty whether they serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, along our international borders, our local communities, our correctional facilities, or anywhere in which dangers and difficulties are unpredictable but real.”

Statememt from Sen. John McCain:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Agent Brian Terry after yesterday’s tragic shooting near Rio Rico, Arizona. This event is yet another reminder of the dangers the men and women of the Border Patrol face every day as they put their lives on the line to protect the American people. The increased violence in the border region demands that Congress provide the necessary resources and personnel to ensure the safety of all Americans, especially border patrol agents stationed on the border, and fulfill the Federal government’s responsibility to secure our border.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.