Bill: Name BP's Naco station after slain Agt. Brian Terry
A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would name the Border Patrol's Naco station after Agt. Brian Terry, who was killed while patrolling near Rio Rico in December.
The proposed change, introduced late Wednesday by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa and Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, was welcomed by the office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Thursday news release.
“Brian Terry died protecting the men and women of Southern Arizona,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff.
“Naming the Border Patrol station in Naco after him is a fitting tribute to someone who paid the ultimate price in the service of his country.”
Terry was based at the Naco station.
The Brian A. Terry Memorial Act already has 52 Republican and Democratic cosponsors, Giffords' office said.
“Our nation’s Border Patrol agents have a distinguished history of working to protect our borders,” said Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“Agent Terry, who served our nation through his military service and his career with the Border Patrol, gave his life defending this country. Naming the station in his honor recognizes his sacrifice, service and heroism,” he said.
Terry was shot and killed last December while on patrol 14 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in the Peck Canyon area near Rio Rico. Terry's patrol, a four-man BORTAC SWAT team, had an armed confrontation with suspected bandits during the night of Dec. 14.
At the time, Giffords called Terry's killing “a stark reminder that our borders are not yet secure.”
Two weapons found at the scene of the shooting are possibly linked to the controversial "Operation Fast and Furious" federal gun-running investigation, officials have said. Neither gun fired the fatal shots, the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has said.
Arizona-based ATF officials on Tuesday told a congressional hearing chaired by Issa that "we made mistakes" during the investigation.
"Fast and Furious" investigators allowed gun traffickers to move weapons that armed Mexican drug cartels in an effort to reveal large gun-smuggling operations.
An June congressional report called Terry's death a "likely a preventable tragedy."
Terry had served with the Border Patrol for three years. He was a U.S. Marine for three years, until 1994, and was a police officer in Michigan before joining the Border Patrol.
Terry was 40 years old at the time of his death, and the native of Detroit, Mich., was survived by his parents, brother, two sisters, five nieces and one nephew.
A January memorial service for Terry was attended by about 2,000 mourners, mostly law enforcement officers.
Since 1919, 111 agents have died in the line of duty.
The Naco station, 2136 S. Naco Highway, would be only the second Border Patrol station to be named for a fallen agent. The Border Patrol’s Murrieta, Calif., station is named in honor of Agents Theodore L. Newton, Jr. and George F. Azrak, who were killed on duty in 1967.