(The Blaze/AP) – Dozens of law enforcement officers picked over a miles-long crime scene bisecting a rural South Texas town Tuesday, collecting evidence after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was shot while conducting surveillance.
The Monitor reports Kelton Harrison, 32, is in stable condition after being shot twice early Tuesday in Hargill, Texas. The agent was conducting surveillance related to an ongoing criminal investigation, ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said. The agent was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery.
The shooting occurred in Hidalgo County, Texas, close to the Mexican border and a known drug-trafficking route. The Monitor also reports three suspects were being held for questioning late Tuesday afternoon, however, no suspects had been formally arrested or identified.
The shooting apparently shares similarities with a Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy's ambush by suspected members of the Gulf Cartel in October as he was investigating a kidnapping, the Monitor reports. Authorities refused to say whether Harrison's attack was related to drug cartels, however, one investigator told the Monitor that the agent's investigation was related to a group of human smugglers and drug traffickers based near Hargill.
Texas state troopers blocked several miles of the main road through Hargill. At one end investigators with metal detectors walked through tall grass around a small white house. Officers from local, state and federal agencies scoured the road for several miles to the north of the house, looking for evidence. At the north end of the crime scene, an SUV with its rear window broken out sat about 50 yards off the road behind a row of squat trees. Border Patrol agents and other investigators picked their way through grass nearby.
FoxNews.com reports authorities believe there may have been two shooters and have collected shell casings as evidence.
Harrison is expected to survive after he was shot in the abdomen at around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. The Monitor reports the agent was rushed to the McAllen Medical Center at speeds as fast as 100 mph.
Hildago County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said his office is assisting the FBI in the investigation. Details surrounding the shooting are still fuzzy.
"We're developing leads but obviously we cannot discuss them at this time," he said.
FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said his agency is leading the investigation into the assault on a federal officer, but that any details regarding the incident would likely come from ICE.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.