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Shooting: Border Patrol agent wounds man south of Gila Bend

2nd BP shooting within days, 4th in months

In the fourth Border Patrol-related shooting this fall, a border agent shot and wounded a man southwest of Gila Bend on Tuesday evening, officials said.

The shooting occurred as Yuma Sector agents checked out "possible bandit activity" near a checkpoint on State Route 85 around 6 p.m., an agency news release said.

The agents encountered two armed men about 14 miles southwest of Gila Bend. At least one of the agents fired a gun, wounded one of the armed men.

The wounded man, who was not identified, is in stable condition after being flown to a Phoenix-area hospital, BP spokesman Enrique Zarate said. The second man, who is a Mexican national, was arrested for being in the United States illegally. No agents were injured in the incident.

A handgun and assault rifle were found at the shooting scene, said Zarate.

The FBI is investigating the shooting.

"Rip crews" of border bandits target loads of drugs and human smuggling operations on the U.S. side of the border. They aim to steal the drugs or kidnap illegal immigrants.

The shooting by a Border Patrol agent is the second this week, and the fourth within months.

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A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a suspected illegal immigrant northwest of the Sasabe port of entry early Sunday afternoon, authorities said. The shooting happened after a physical altercation, BP officials said Tuesday.

The suspect who was killed has not been identified.

Few details have been released in either of this week's shootings.

Authorities were tight-lipped about the incidents. Officials only put out a three-sentence statement Tuesday after reporters responded to tips about Sunday's shooting and made inquiries.

Officials did not release information on the Tuesday shooting until Wednesday evening.

On Oct. 2, Agent Nicholas Ivie was killed by friendly fire in an incident between Bisbee and Douglas.

On Oct. 10, an agent in Nogales fired across the border and killed a 16-year-old boy. José Antonio Elena Rodríguez was shot multiple times after a group on the Mexican side threw rocks up and over the border as agents investigated a drug smuggling incident, U.S. officials said.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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