Tuesday 8 February 2022

Texas National Guard soldier passes away in unintentional shooting, authorities state

The soldier was appointed to Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott's border enforcement operation, the Texas Military Department stated.A Texas National Guard soldier assigned to the southern border under Gov. Greg Abbott's border enforcement operation was killed Monday in a non-mission-related incident.

The soldier, who has not been determined, was hurt in Brackettville and flown to a San Antonio healthcare facility, according to the Texas Military Department.

While the department said the cause of death remains under examination, the Army Times reported that a fellow soldier accidentally shot the victim with his own gun. The soldier is the sixth Operation Lone Star mission soldier to die since October, according to the paper. Four of those deaths were suicides, and the most recent was another accidental shooting.

Abbott presented Operation Lone Star in March 2021 "to respond to a rise in illegal migration," according to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.

His declaration directed the Department of Public Safety to "utilize readily available resources to implement all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, and to help Texas counties in their efforts to deal with those criminal activities."In April 2021, Abbott opened Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities for apprehending those apprehended under Operation Lone Star.

" Our hearts are heavy at the news of the awful death of a Texas Guardsman stationed at the border as part of Operation Lone Star," he stated in a statement Monday. "The Texas National Guard plays an essential function in our efforts to keep neighborhoods safe and we are grateful for their guts and commitment."The Texas Rangers are investigating the incident.

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

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