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DPS Officers Fire Rounds, Launch Tear Gas Across Border

In separate instances on Thursday, Texas Department of Public Safety officers came under gunfire from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and launched tear gas south into the country.

Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

Texas Department of Public Safety officers on Thursday came under gunfire from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande in one incident on the South Texas border, and launched tear gas south into Mexico in another.

In a news release sent late Friday, the department said agents came under fire while en route to assist fellow officers who seized a raft with about 1,100 pounds of marijuana. The Texas Rangers returned fire and the shooters fled. The raft was abandoned, and its passengers fled back to the Mexican side. It is unclear how many alleged gunmen were present or the weapons they used.

Earlier that day, Rangers responded to a report of “shots fired” from agents with the U.S. Border Patrol and, upon arriving, found the federal officers taking cover, the DPS said, citing preliminary information. The Border Patrol agents then motioned toward Mexico, and Texas Rangers fired tear gas in that direction; the alleged shooters subsequently fled.

Citing security purposes, the agency said the incidents occurred in South Texas but would not disclose exact locations. Calls to the Border Patrol seeking more information about the incident were not immediately returned. The DPS did not include in its release information about how many times its agents have been fired upon this year. 

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