SUMAS, Wash. (NEWS1130) – A Washington sheriff says a US Border Patrol agent has fatally shot a man near Sumas, Washington, along the border with BC.
According to U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the man was a suspected illegal border crosser.
The Bellingham Herald reports the man was shot in the head around 3 p.m. in an apparent confrontation with law enforcement.
The newspaper says that shortly before the fatal shooting, a Sumas police officer reported shots had been fired and asked for backup.
A Border Patrol agent also was at the scene and was reportedly pepper sprayed. Sheriff Bill Elfo says the agent shot the suspect.
The road where the shooting took place is less than 1,000 feet from the US-Canada border. Police, the FBI, border authorities and the sheriff’s office responded.
Elfo says his office will investigate the shooting. The Border Patrol did not immediately respond to questions about what happened.
The US Customs & Border Protection has released the following statement:
“On Thursday, March 19, at approximately 2:30 pm PST, a US Border Patrol agent on patrol along the US-Canadian border near Sumas, Washington, discharged his service-issued weapon, fatally striking an individual. A US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Use of Force Incident Team (UFIT) is coordinating the agency’s investigation with the Border Patrol and the Law Enforcement Multi-Agency Response Team (LEMART) of Whatcom County. Details of the incident have been provided to the DHS Office of Inspector General and the FBI.”