The wounded U.S. Border Patrol agent who was shot this week while patrolling a remote area alone near Arizona’s border with Mexico is in stable condition and good spirts, the chief of the agency in Tucson said Wednesday.
Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch released very few new details at a morning news conference.
Karisch said the agent, a veteran with 21 years of experience, was investigating activity picked up by sensors while patrolling on foot in a rural, mountainous area south of the community of Arivaca when the shooting occurred before dawn Tuesday.
The agent, who was not identified, was attacked by an unknown number of assailants, one of whom fired several shots at close range. The agent was struck several times and apparently returned fire.
The chief said the agent is a trained paramedic who was able to get to his vehicle and administer first aid. Responding agents coordinated his emergency evacuation via air ambulance to a local hospital.
Karisch said the people arrested after the shooting were processed on immigration charges and “we have yet to tie them to the shooting.”
Arivaca is southwest of Tucson and about 10 miles from the border.
The FBI is leading the investigation with the assistance of Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.