U.S. agent killed, two others wounded in gunfight with alleged smugglers off Puerto Rico coast
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent was killed and two other agents were wounded in a gunfight with two alleged smugglers near Puerto Rico on Thursday, CBP said in a statement.
The big picture: The gunfight took place about 14 miles off Puerto Rico's west coast along Mona Passage, a major drug smuggling corridor for cocaine from South America, according to AP.
What they're saying: "On Nov. 17, at approximately 8:00AM, three CBP Marine Interdiction Agents were involved in an exchange of gunfire with two individuals on board a suspected smuggling vessel upon approach 14 miles off the coast of Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico," CBP's statement read.
- "The Marine Agents suffered various gunshot injuries as a result. The agents were airlifted by Coast Guard to the Puerto Rico Trauma Center and to a Mayaguez Hospital," it continued.
- At least one of the alleged smugglers was also killed in the shootout, while another was arrested.
- CBP said the FBI is investigating the event and additional information would be provided when it becomes available.
Later on Thursday after the shootout, CBP said another Marine Interdiction crew intercepted a separate vessel with two people on board carrying contraband and firearms.
- The pair, who are U.S. citizens, were also arrested.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said a CBP Air and Marine Operations agent was lost and "several others were gravely wounded" while testifying before a Senate committee Thursday.
- CBP's initial statement on the event did not indicate anyone was killed throughout the shooting.
Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details.