An Arizona cattle rancher says that the shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent near the boundary with Mexico happened in a remote part of his ranch that is frequently used by drug and migrant smugglers.
Jim Chilton tells The Associated Press in an interview that a Border Patrol official sent him an email Tuesday morning informing him the agent was alone when he was wounded on his ranch, and was struck in the leg and the hand.
Chilton says several bullets also struck the agent’s protective vest and that the vest probably saved his life. He also says several people were detained.
The Border Patrol official who the rancher said wrote the email, Lisa A. Reed, did not immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation of the details that Chilton provided.
Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman Chris Sullivan declined comment.
Chilton is a well-known Arizona backer of President Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.