Yuma Air Branch Aircrew and Border Patrol Partners Locate Suspected Active Shooter in Arizona
YUMA, Ariz. — Monday, two Yuma Air Branch AS350 crews responded to reports of a shooting at a nearby high school in Yuma, Arizona. The aircrews partnered with US Border Patrol agents to search the area and locate the suspected shooter.
The Helicopter AS350/ H125 Light Enforcement Helicopter (LEH) is a short-range, turbine-powered helicopter used by US Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations to perform missions such as aerial patrol and surveillance of stationary or moving targets.
Yuma Air Branch received initial reports of a possible shooting at Gila Ridge High School yesterday morning and launched an AS350 crew to respond. The aircrew arrived on station within four minutes. A second AS350 crew deployed to the scene.
An aircrew identified footprints in an open, undeveloped area south of the high school and alerted nearby law enforcement officers. A Border Patrol Agent responded and confirmed the footprints were fresh and were heading toward an industrial area.
Law enforcement officers responded, located and arrested the suspected shooter. Further investigation is underway. “These are the situations we train for, to be able to respond immediately to incidents of dire urgency,” stated Douglas Murray, Director of Yuma Air Branch, “Our crews regularly partner with US Border Patrol in situations like this to increase effectiveness in stopping violent threats.”
Yuma Air Branch is part of AMO’s Southwest Region, a region that spans more than 2,000 linear miles of border between the US and Mexico. Transnational criminal organizations operating along the southwest border are persistent, well-organized, adaptive, and represent an ever-present danger to the physical and economic security of the United States. AMO’s Southwest Region applies its unique maritime and aviation capabilities in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mitigate these transnational threats.
AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2022, AMO enforcement actions resulted in 967 arrests and 134,981 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 250,616 pounds of cocaine, 1,475 pounds of fentanyl, 25,625 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,342 weapons, and $21.7 million.
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