Jon E. Dougherty is a Missouri-based political science major, author, writer and columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
A pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents were shot and wounded during a traffic stop in Laredo, Texas, by a suspect armed with an SKS semi-automatic rifle.
Police said the two agents were investigating a shooting incident around 11 p.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of Boston St. in west Laredo when a suspect, Jesus Arias Jr., allegedly opened fire on their vehicle. One report said one agent was shot in the arm and shoulder, the other in the lower back, but Border Patrol officials would not confirm details.
Mike Herrera III, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Laredo sector told WorldNetDaily the agents, whose names have not been released, were taken to Mercy Hospital locally. He said one of the agents has been released, while the other remains hospitalized in stable condition.
One source familiar with the investigation said Arias shot at the agents from behind and that the bullet holes – which numbered at least three – in their vehicle, a pick-up truck, reflect the angle of the attack.
The source said the agents may have been checking or replacing ground sensors used by the Border Patrol to detect illegal-immigrant foot traffic when the call for a shooting came in.
Juan Rivera, a public information officer with the Laredo Police Department, said Arias, 19, was arrested around 1 p.m. Monday in Laredo. Rivera said Arias is a U.S. citizen and was not in the country illegally.
The source told WorldNetDaily the weapon used to attack the agents was an SKS semi-automatic rifle with its barrel shortened and its stock replaced with a pistol grip.
It was unclear whether the overall length of the rifle was legal under Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regulations; a spokesman for the agency told WorldNetDaily rifle barrels cannot be less than 16 inches in length.