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Border Patrol agent shoots Russian citizen in Arizona desert

A Russian national was shot by a Border Patrol agent Thursday night in the Arizona desert near Lukeville, on the Mexican border southwest of Tucson. The individual, whose identity was not released by authorities, was taken to a Phoenix-area hospital.

Around 7:15 p.m., the agent "responded to a single subject suspected of crossing the border illegally just east of Lukeville," a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.

As the agent attempted to detain the person, a struggle took place, and the agent shot the individual.

The Russian's name or other identifying information was not released by federal authorities Friday, when CBP informed the press about the incident.

The Russian was flown by helicopter to a hospital for treatment of "non-life-threatening injuries," CBP spokesman Rob Daniels said.

"The subject remains in the hospital at this time. The responding Border Patrol agent was not seriously injured in the encounter," Daniels said Friday afternoon.

The shooting is being investigated by the FBI and the the CBP Use of Force Incident Team, he said.

Lukeville is an unincorporated hamlet with a border crossing, and lies within the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in a rugged stretch of desert about 110 miles southwest of Tucson. The area has seen a large number of migrants crossing the border to turn themselves in to federal border agents and request asylum over the past year.

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The Trump administration began erecting 30-foot-tall steel bollard panels for the president's "border wall" on the national monument — a protected wildlife refuge — near Lukeville in late August.

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1 comment on this story

Nov 16, 2019, 8:37 am
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Sounds like a job well done. Clearly, this was not an innocent tourist.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

In a remote part of Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a Border Patrol agent takes into custody two 18-year-old boys from Guatemala, April 2019.