A member of the Texas National Guard was killed in an “accidental firearm discharge” on Monday, according to the Texas Military Department.
The soldier, whose name has not been released, was assigned to Operation Lone Star and died in a “non-mission related incident” in Brackettville, Texas. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” said Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, Adjutant General for Texas Military Department, in a statement. “We are focused on supporting the Soldier’s family and are providing all available resources.”
The accidental shooting is under investigation.
In a statement following the shooting, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expressed his condolences for the family of the fallen soldier.
“Our hearts are heavy at the news of the tragic death of a Texas Guardsman stationed at the border as part of Operation Lone Star. We grieve for the soldier who died and lift their family and loved ones up in prayer,” Abbott’s statement read.
“The Texas National Guard plays an important role in our efforts to keep communities safe and we are grateful for their courage and commitment,” he continued. “The Texas Rangers will conduct a thorough investigation into this tragedy and the Texas Military Department is taking action to ensure such loss of life never happens again.”
The Army Times reported that the soldier was assigned to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border as part of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. He was reportedly killed by a fellow soldier who accidentally shot him with his personal weapon, documents obtained by the Times showed.
The Times also reported that this is the sixth member of the National Guard who was assigned to Operation Lone Star to die in incidents related to personal weapons. Four of the deaths were suicides.
Gov. Abbott posted images of the Texas National Guard deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border on his Facebook account in September, writing that the Lone Star State continues to push back against the flow of illegal immigrants as President Joe Biden “does nothing.”
“Texas National Guard Soldiers deploy tactical vehicles to the border in support of Operation Lone Star,” Gov. Abbott’s post states. “As Biden does nothing, the Lone Star State continues to surge manpower & equipment to put an end to the chaos at our southern border.”
Gov. Abbott also posted his appearance on Fox News, writing in a separate Facebook post that “Texans ― & all Americans ― demand & deserve a secure southern border & the protection of our nation’s sovereignty.” The governor added that “we know Biden isn’t going to do it,” so Texas will “continue to take unprecedented action to secure the border.”