SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Border Patrol agent wearing body armor was struck by gunfire but avoided serious injury Thursday while confronting the occupants of a vehicle suspected of migrant smuggling in New Mexico, federal authorities said.
Six people were taken into custody after the vehicle later crashed, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. The agency added that the agent was shot in the chest multiple times and was released after a medical examination.
The officer, who was not identified, had returned fire as a vehicle sped away on a rural state highway north of Hatchita.
“The fleeing vehicle was involved in a rolled over accident a few miles down the road and agents took six persons into custody,” according to the statement.
It said two of those in custody were flown to a trauma center in El Paso, Texas, for treatment. Their conditions and identities were not immediately released.
New Mexico State Police officers were assisting in an investigation, which also involved the FBI, according to State Police Lt. Mark Soriano.