A Texas National Guard soldier has died in a non-mission-related incident in the town of Brackettville, the Guard announced Monday.
The soldier was assigned to Operation Lone Star, a state-led effort in response to migrant crossings at the border with Mexico. Bracketville is about 30 miles from the border town of Del Rio, Texas.
The soldier was airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, the top general for the Texas Military Department (TMD), said in a statement. “We are focused on supporting the Soldier’s family and are providing all available resources.”
The soldier died from an accidental firearm discharge, according to the TMD.
“The incident is currently under investigation by the Texas Rangers. We will release more details as they become available,” said Col. Rita Holton, a TMD spokesperson.
It was unclear whether the discharge was from the soldier’s weapon.
Gov. Greg Abbott said offered condolences to the soldier’s family.
“The Texas National Guard plays an important role in our efforts to keep communities safe and we are grateful for their courage and commitment,” he added. “The Texas Rangers will conduct a thorough investigation into this tragedy and the Texas Military Department is taking action to ensure such loss of life never happens again.”
Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March, deploying state troopers and National Guard members to the Texas-Mexico border. It was part of a broader effort by Abbott in response to President Joe Biden’s reversal of many Trump-era immigration policies.
The National Guard role in Operation Lone Star is often supporting law enforcement. Members of the military are barred from carrying out law enforcement activities, such as arrests or searches, without prior authorization.