One year ago, Border Patrol Agent Brian A Terry was killed while trying to stop a "rip crew" in Southern Arizona, . Hank Stephenson covered Terry's memorial service earlier this year.
An automatic weapon that had been sold as part of the bungled ATF investigation Fast and Furious was recovered at the scene of Terry's killing, setting off the congressional investigation that led to the resignation of U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke and ongoing calls for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation.
As the Dec. 15 anniversary of Terry's killing approaches, the Terry family has released a statement through their attorney:
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.