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Report: Brian Terry murder a 'preventable tragedy'

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'Fast and Furious'

Report: Brian Terry murder a 'preventable tragedy'

  • Agent Brian A. Terry
    Customs and Border ProtectionAgent Brian A. Terry

The death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was a "preventable tragedy," a congressional report released Wednesday said.

The report, an examination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Operation Fast and Furious" investigation into cross-border gun smuggling, was prepared at the behest of two leading critics of the agency's handling of the sting.

Republicans Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) called for the report.

The December murder of Terry, who was patrolling with a Border Patrol team north of Nogales, "was likely a preventable tragedy," the joint staff report said.

Weapons found at the scene of Terry's killing were traced back to the Fast and Furious investigation.

ATF investigators looking into the flow of guns across the U.S.-Mexico border allowed some firearms to be smuggled south, a practice termed "gunwalking."

A congressional report on the ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious" gun smuggling investigation said "the death of Border Agent Brian Terry was likely a preventable tragedy."

A Mexican national, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was indicted last month on second-degree murder charges in Terry's death. While not accused of pulling the trigger, Osorio-Arellanes carried an AK-47 while in a group of illegal aliens that engaged in a firefight with Terry and three other Border Patrol agents in a remote area known as Mesquite Seep near Rio Rico.

Two weapons recovered near the shooting scene were linked to the controversial "Fast and Furious" operation that targeted cross-border gun smuggling. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says neither of the firearms found fired the fatal shots.

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