El Paso, TX – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol K9 Bulder was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday as he was searching for a fugitive who was wanted for illegally manufacturing and possessing firearms.
The U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the El Paso Police Department (EPPD) responded to a residence in the 4500-block of Capricorn Drive at approximately 6 a.m. to execute an arrest and search warrant, the El Paso Times reported.
According to ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Craig Saier, warrants were issued in connection with alleged federal firearms manufacturing and dealing offenses, KDBC reported.
Because the suspect was potentially armed and dangerous, multiple agencies responded to assist, SAC Saier explained.
The agents were in the backyard of the residence when they were confronted by an unnamed 62-year-old gunman, the El Paso Times reported.
The suspect opened fire on the agents, hitting K9 Bulder.
They immediately returned fire, killing the gunman.
“It happened in seconds,” El Paso Police Sergeant Robert Gomez said during a press conference.
Two women were inside the home at the time of the shootout, and both were uninjured, Sgt. Gomez said.
No arrests have been made, he added.
K9 Bulder, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, died of his wounds at the scene, the El Paso Times reported.
He was a member of the BORTAC, and served his agency for two years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
U.S. Border Special Operations Chief Patrol Agent Tim Sullivan said that K9 Bulder’s sacrifice helped save his fellow officers.
"Please let the public know that this K-9 agent and his partner, without a doubt, saved other agents from significant injury and possibly death,” Chief Sullivan told KVIA.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol in the loss of K9 Bulder.