Fox News reported that a Texas National Guard soldier drowned Friday while attempting to rescue migrants in a river who’d been trying to cross the state’s southern border with Mexico, multiple sources told the network.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed that the incident took place in Eagle Pass.
The soldier has been identified as Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans. Evans joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019.
“With the Texas Rangers as the lead for the continued investigation, the Texas Military Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Border Patrol have tirelessly worked through search and rescue teams in an effort to locate SPC Evans,” the Texas Military Department said in a statement on Sunday.
“Dive teams were forced to halt their operations yesterday evening as the river’s current continued at an increased pace, making dive operations very challenging. Search and rescue operations began again early Sunday morning, with the addition of three airboats from the Texas Department of Public Safety.”
Evans had been deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border under Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, and was the first on-duty death among the Guard.
Evans went missing at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time Friday while assigned to a northern part of Eagle Pass. He had observed a group of people crossing from the Mexican shore through the turbulent water when a woman in the group appeared to be drowning.
The soldier took off his walky-talky and body armor, dropped them on the shore, and ran into the water to rescue the woman, Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber told the Washington Examiner Friday.
“Brave National Guardsman removed his armor before jumping in dangerous waters to save a human life. Please pray for the families of all those impacted,” Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) tweeted. “It’s very dangerous, this river, the Rio Grande, it’s very tricky,” Sheriff Schmerber, a former U.S. Border Patrol officer, was quoted as saying.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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