New details in death of agent Brian Terry

Published: Mar. 4, 2011 at 9:01 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:19 PM MST
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By Som Lisaius,

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Two and half months after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed, we finally have the official autopsy report in hand.  Ten pages that provide very important answers about that night, but still leave some lingering questions surrounding this unsolved case.

"A single penetrating gunshot wound to the torso" - that's how 40 year old Brian Terry died on December 14th, 2010.  Terry was amongst of group of specialized Border Patrol agents tracking suspected border bandits north of Rio Rico when he was fatally wounded.

According to the autopsy report, the bullet entered Terry's lower back and traveled upward, severing his spinal cord and the main artery to his heart.

That bullet was also found in his body, the report says.  Officials say it came from an AK-47.  This is important because it rules out friendly fire since Border Patrol agents do not use AK-47s.

What's troubling is that an AK-47 found at the scene of Terry's death has been traced back to an undercover operation, where federal authorities allowed weapons to pass illegally into Mexico.

The goal, officials say, was to identify some of the key players in the drug war.  But in doing so, they may have provided drug runners with the very weapon that killed agent Brian Terry.

"We just knew it wasn't going to end well...there's no way it could."

In this exclusive interview with CBS news, ATF Special Agent John Dodson said he never felt right about knowingly allowing weapons into the wrong people's hands.

When he learned what happened to Agent Brian Terry, Dodson said, "I felt was crushing.  I don't know how to explain it."

Which is why Agent Terry's brother now wants the federal government to finally come clean.

"He'd want them to tell the truth," Kent Terry said, referring to what his late brother Brian would want.  "That's the one thing my brother didn't like was a liar.  And that's what he would want - he'd want the truth."

We attempted to get a comment from the U.S. Border Patrol Friday about these findings.  A spokesperson for the agency declined comment, citing an active and ongoing investigation.

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