US Customs agent killed, two wounded in shootout off Puerto Rico coast

Government Investigating Journalists (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Government Investigating Journalists (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A US Customs and Border Protection agent was killed and two were wounded in a shootout with people "on board a suspected smuggling vessel" near the coast of Puerto Rico, officials said.

The shooting occurred Thursday morning around 8 am. A shootout took place between agents and the suspects approximately 144 miles off the coast of Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico, according to the Associated Press.

The wounded agents were airlifted to the Puerto Rico Trauma Centre, officials said.

CBS News reports that one of the agents shot has died, citing a statement given by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Ranking Member [Rob] Portman mentioned the tragic loss of one of our front-line personnel. Several others were gravely wounded. I was briefed on the situation very early this morning. These are brave members of our Air and Marine Operations within U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” he said on Thursday.

It is still unclear who shot at the agents and why.

The conditions of the two wounded agents is currently unknown.