A Border Patrol agent was shot and killed on Tuesday night near Rio Rico after encountering several suspects, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Agent Brian Terry, 40, was killed at about 11 p.m. near Peck Canyon, about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border west of Rio Rico on the Interstate 19. Four suspects are in custody and one is being pursued, according to a press release from Customs and Border Protection.

Terry was part of the Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma and Rescue team, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. Agents must go through special training and have at least two years experience in the Border Patrol to be accepted to the BORSTAR unit, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.
Since 1919, 111 Border Patrol agents have died on duty, according to The Officer Down Memorial Page Inc., which tracks law-enforcement deaths.

In July of last year, Border Patrol Agent Robert Wimer Rosas, 30, was shot and killed in southeast San Diego County, Calif. He was the last agent to be shot and killed in the line of duty, though two other agents have been killed in automobile accidents while on duty in two separate incidents in 2010. One of the agents was 32-year-old Michael Gallagher, who was killed in September of this year when a drunken driver struck his car near Casa Grande. The other was agent Mark Van Doren, 40, who was killed in Texas in May.

The Nogales Border Patrol Station in the Tucson sector is the largest Border Patrol station in the country, according to the agency’s website.

Agents are responsible for patrolling 1,100 square miles of terrain as well as 32 miles of the international border.

Source: Molly Smith for The Arizona Republic.

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A Border Patrol agent was shot and killed on Tuesday night near Rio Rico…