One year ago, Arizona Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in the line of duty. The weapons used in this crime were linked to the failed gun trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious. Since then, the ATF, the FBI, and the Department of Justice; including Attorney General Eric Holder have come under fire for what was known about this program and the way it was handled. The investigation into how U.S. guns were used in Terry's murder continues.
FOX News Radio's Jessica Rosenthal reports:
Brian Terry was on patrol with other agents near Rio Rico, Arizona, when they came across Mexican bandits carrying guns. Terry was shot and died in the desert. Two guns found at the scene were traced back later to a U.S. operation known as Fast and Furious; which was designed to track illegally purchased guns to Mexican drug cartels. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he was unaware of the program at the time and defended himself in a hearing last week.
Holder: "It is unfortunate that some have used inflammatory and inappropriate rhetoric about one particular tragedy that occurred near the southwest border in an effort to score political points."
Terry's family however, may file a lawsuit. And on this anniversary of his death, they call Fast and Furious "incomprehensible".
Jessica Rosenthal, FOX News Radio.
Statement from the Terry Family:
"December 15th will mark the one year anniversary of the murder of Brian A. Terry. On that day in 2010, our family lost an amazing son, brother, uncle, and friend. Our country lost an incredible young American who was fully committed to his job in keeping our Nation safe and its borders secure. Brian's life was dedicated to public service as a U.S. Marine, police officer, U.S. Border Patrol agent and finally as a member of the Border Patrol's elite tactical unit known as BORTAC. Throughout his life, Brian maintained an incredible work ethic that made his many successes possible. We believe that these are the traits that so many people have since recognized. He is remembered as an extremely proud American and a symbol for all that is good. Brian's death has been extremely difficult to accept. As most know, we had to learn from the news media that two assault rifles carried by the men that killed Brian and found at the murder scene were linked to Operation Fast and Furious, a failed gun trafficking operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Justice. We find it incomprehensible that members of ATF and DOJ would embark on such an egregious operation and then try to conceal the link between this failed investigation and Brian's murder. Much to our dismay, no one in ATF or DOJ has come forward to accept responsibility for Operation Fast and Furious. Our priority continues to be the successful arrest and prosecution of all the individuals involved in Brian's murder. However, we will continue to press for answers and accountability from our government. Those responsible for such a misguided and fundamentally flawed operation must be held fully responsible for their decisions which allowed so many weapons to flow to the criminal element on both sides of the border. We now believe that if it can be shown that laws were broken, then all those responsible for Fast and Furious should be held criminally liable. We would like to acknowledge the work conducted by agents from the FBI Tucson Office in the homicide investigation and the continued work by federal prosecutors in the San Diego U.S. Attorney's Office who are working to bring Brian's killers to justice. We would also like to thank those members of ATF that recognized Operation Fast and Furious as fundamentally flawed and came forward with information that exposed this foolish operation to the American public. These individuals have continued to speak the truth at great professional risk. Finally, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of those affected by the violence in Mexico caused by the guns of Operation Fast and Furious. Please know that we, as most Americans, see you as victims as well. We will continue to press our government for justice as we will not allow Brian's death to be in vain."
Statement by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Answers, Accountability Still Sought for Fallen Border Patrol Agent "Today is a tragic anniversary as we mark 12 months since U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was killed after being shot while working in the line of duty near Rio Rico, Arizona. "In the weeks and months that followed, that tragedy was compounded as we learned Agent Terry's death could have been prevented. Quite simply, he would still be with us had it not been for the ill-conceived gun-trafficking scheme known as Operation Fast and Furious. "With this Arizona-based, federal operation, our U.S. government allowed hundreds of illegally-purchased firearms to find their way into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other criminal organizations. Many of these high-powered rifles later showed up at crime scenes, most notably at the site where Agent Terry was killed. "In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, it's business-as-usual. The American people deserve answers and accountability from the Obama administration officials who played a role in approving Operation Fast and Furious. "I hope the Terry family finds peace today, and I ask for justice in Agent Terry's name."