The death of a border patrol agent in an nighttime gun battle near the Arizona border has brought renewed calls for increased security from those who view the killing as a sign of growing violence along the international line, says the Christian Science Monitor. Deadly attacks against agents are rare in the area, with the last one in 1998. The head of the border patrol agents’ union acknowledges that smugglers are showing an increasing tendency to stand and fight when confronted by U.S. law enforcement.
Border patrol agent Brian Terry died in the shootout Tuesday between members of the agency's tactical unit and several gunmen 10 miles north of Nogales. Four suspects were arrested and authorities searched for a fifth. The confrontation took place about at 11 p.m. in well-known spot for the smuggling of drugs and people. An official said the shootout was “relatively close to residential areas.” T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents' union, said that in past years, traffickers dropped drug loads and weapons as they tried to evade law enforcement. That seems to be changing, with several close calls for agents, particularly Arizona and Texas. “Now what we're seeing is more of an inclination to just to shoot it out with agents,” Bonner says.