U.S. Border Patrol agents were shot at while patrolling the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday night.
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency (CBP) confirmed in an emailed statement to American Military News on Thursday that agents responded to a report of suspected migrants near Fronton on Wednesday night and then reported shots fired from the Mexican side of the border. Officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas DPS) the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and additional CBP agents responded to the location.
The FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility were all notified of the incident.
Fox News reported, citing multiple law enforcement sources, that the agents that were fired upon were members of the special operations unit of the CBP’s Border Patrol Tactical Operations (BORTAC). The CBP agents reportedly returned fire and nobody on either side was hit.
Sources for Fox News said Mexican military units were first engaged in a shootout with cartel members on the Mexican side of the border, during which time one man fled the gun battle and attempted to flee into the U.S. by crossing a nearby river. A BORTAC agent reportedly jumped into the water to rescue the man, at which point the agent was fired upon.
This cross-border shooting incident comes a month after CBP agents in the same border sector were fired upon from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River. That shooting incident occurred on New Year’s Day. Tweets from the incident showed bullet holes in a CBP agent’s vehicle.
“NEW: A Border Patrol agent was shot at from across the river in Mexico on New Year’s Day while he was apprehending a migrant who had crossed illegally near Roma, TX. Bullets hit agents vehicle, but he wasn’t hurt,” Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted at the time. “CBP and FBI now investigating. Pics from LE source. @FoxNews.”
The January shooting incident took place in Roma, Texas, about a six-mile drive from where shots were fired on Wednesday in Fronton.
In October, a Fox News crew also captured footage of the tracer fire of an automatic weapon firing from Mexico into the U.S.
Fox News reported sightings of heavily armed groups have become more common in recent times and Texas DPS officials have reported seeing suspected cartel members armed with AK-47-style rifles taunting National Guard troops on the U.S. side of the border.
In March of last year, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched a border security effort known as Operation Lone Star. The operation pairs Texas National Guard troops and Texas DPS personnel in an effort to prevent the smuggling of humans and drugs across the border into Texas.