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Border Patrol agent shot in southern Arizona

Border patrol stock photo (CBPArizona via CNN)

ARIVACA, Ariz. — A US Border Patrol agent was shot Tuesday morning in southern Arizona near the border with Mexico, and several people in the area were taken into custody, federal authorities said.

The agent was taken to a hospital for treatment after being shot around 4:30 a.m. south of Arivaca, about 10 miles north of the Mexican border, US Customs and Border Protection said.

Details about the agent’s condition or what led to the shooting weren’t immediately released.

The shooting occurred in an area that is part of a 50,000-acre ranch, said Jim Chilton, owner of the vast property. He said Mexican drug cartels smuggle drugs and people through the area, and there is only a cattle fence covering 25 miles along the Arizona-Mexico border that touches his ranch. The closest Border Patrol station is 80 miles away, according to Chilton, and cartel lookouts can easily spot agents approaching.

Chilton said the shooting took place 6 or 7 miles from his ranch house.

“Several subjects in the area were taken into custody,” Customs and Border Protection’s Arizona Twitter account said.

The agency said it and the FBI are investigating the shooting.