US Customs agent killed, two wounded in shootout off Puerto Rico coast

The shootout occurred approximately 144 miles from the island

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 17 November 2022 20:11 GMT
<p>Government Investigating Journalists</p>

Government Investigating Journalists

Leer en Español

A US Customs and Border Protection agent was killed and two were wounded in a shootout with people "on board a suspected smuggling vessel" near the coast of Puerto Rico, officials said.

The shooting occurred Thursday morning around 8 am. A shootout took place between agents and the suspects approximately 12 miles off the coast of Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico, according to the Associated Press.

The wounded agents were airlifted to the Puerto Rico Trauma Centre, officials said.

CBS News reports that one of the agents shot has died, citing a statement given by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Ranking Member [Rob] Portman mentioned the tragic loss of one of our front-line personnel. Several others were gravely wounded. I was briefed on the situation very early this morning. These are brave members of our Air and Marine Operations within U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” he said on Thursday.

It is still unclear who shot at the agents and why.

The conditions of the two wounded agents is currently unknown.

CBP’s Air and Marine Operations unit was patrolling when shots were fired about 12 miles from Cabo Rojo, which is a major drug smuggling corridor for cocaine traffickers originating in South America.

According to CBP spokesman Jeffrey Quiñones, one of the suspected smugglers involved in the shootout was killed. He said it is still too early to tell where the suspected smuggling ship originated or the nationalities of the crew onboard.

The FBI is leading an investigation into the shootout.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in