National Guard soldier deployed to Mexican border killed in accidental shooting

A Texas Guardsmen and a Customs and Border Patrol agent discuss the lay of the land in 2019. (Photo by Sgt. Mark Otte)

Kaitlyn Alanis

The Charlotte Observer


The death of a Texas Army National Guard soldier assigned to Operation Lone Star is believed to be the result of an accidental shooting, though officials say an investigation is ongoing.

The soldier was shot and killed in a “non-mission related incident” Monday, Feb. 7, according to a news release from the Texas National Guard. Authorities say the soldier was shot in Brackettville and pronounced dead at the scene, though they did not say if the solider was on duty at the time.

The initial investigation indicates the soldier died from “an accidental firearm discharge,” officials said.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” said Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, adjutant general for Texas Military Department. “We are focused on supporting the Soldier’s family and are providing all available resources.”

The soldier will not be publicly identified until 24 hours after the next of kin is notified. Officials did not say when the next of kin would be notified.

Operation Lone Star was launched by Gov. Greg Abbott in March 2021 to curb illegal immigration.

Following the operation launch, in May, he issued a disaster declaration that directed the state’s Department of Public Safety to “use available resources to enforce all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, and to assist Texas counties in their efforts to address those criminal activities,” according to the operation website.

Anyone arrested under Operation Lone Star can be detained by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

This solider is the sixth assigned to Operation Lone Star to have died since October, the ArmyTimes reported, noting that four were suicides. The soldier is the second to have been killed in an accidental shooting this year, following one who accidentally shot himself on New Year’s Day.

Brackettville is about 130 miles west of San Antonio in southern Texas.

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