Bulletproof vest protects a border guard agent hit by a firearm

SANTA FE, NM (AP) — A Border Patrol agent wearing a bulletproof vest was hit by gunshots but escaped serious injury Thursday after confronting car occupants suspected of smuggling migrants into New Mexico, federal authorities said.

Six people were taken into custody after the vehicle later crashed, US Customs and Border Protection said. The agency added that the agent was shot several times in the chest and released after a medical examination.

An unidentified officer returned fire as the vehicle sped away on a rural state highway north of Hatchita.

“The fleeing vehicle was involved in an overturning accident several miles down the road and six people were taken into custody by agents,” the statement said.

It says two of the detainees were taken to a trauma center in El Paso, Texas for treatment. Their conditions and identities were not immediately revealed.

According to State Police Lieutenant Mark Soriano, New Mexico State Police officers assisted in the investigation, which also involved the FBI.

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