Brother of slain Border Patrol Agent honors his memory
Reporter: Craig Smith
FLORENCE, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - The brother of a Border Patrol Agent killed in Southern Arizona praised his brother and his service. Kent Terry, the brother of slain agent Brian Terry was at a special ceremony in Pinal County Thursday evening.
Across the country this is a special week to honor law enforcement officers and their sacrifices and Pinal Sheriff Paul Babeu thought it was fitting to honor Brian Terry, by inviting his brother to speak.
A special motorcycle honor guard began a solemn ceremony to honor the lost, but celebrate their service.
One by one, representatives from all departments in Pinal County came forward in tribute. There are many to honor---33 in Pinal County in 101 years. But Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu highlighted a man killed in Santa Cruz County…almost two years ago in an incident still controversial today.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, was part of a special unit working to intercept Border Bandits. He died from a firefight, and when investigators examined weapons found at the scene, they found two assault rifles were involved in a Federal investigation called Operation Fast and Furious. It instructed Federal agents to allow guns from questionable purchases to be channeled to Mexico. The idea was tracing the guns would lead to the drug lords.
Brian Terry’s brother Kent spoke proudly of his brothers service in the Marines, in police departments in Michigan, and finally in one of the elite units of the Border Patrol. Then he spoke of how is brother is one man in a long line of sacrifice.
Kent Terry said, “I know there are many officers that have been fallen in the line of duty; and I know of the pain and emptiness that is left when they’re suddenly gone. But I know that my brother died doing what he did best, protecting this county and it’s citizens from threats from outside and within our borders.”
Participants lit candles, for a roll call of the officers killed reaching back through the years…
Afterwards, men surrounding Kent Terry told us there would be no interviews.
Sheriff Babeu chose not to elaborate on the origin of the guns found where Agent Terry died. KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked him: ”What do you think of the particular circumstances in this case where a gun was apparently involved in the case that was released through the Fast and Furious program and so on?
Babeu: Its tragic and out of respect for the family and the situation that we wanted tonight to be not about thos issues and not about politics but specifically about the heroes and how he lived. He wore the uniform o f our country whether in the US Marine Corps, as a local police officer and as a Border Patrol Agent..22 years.”
The controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious has grown so intense, Congressman Darrell Issa, heading the Congressional investigation has gone so far as to threaten to cite U.S. Attorney General Gregory Holder for contempt of Congress on a claim Holder has withheld evidence from the probe.