(CNSNews.com) – Declaring that the shooting of a Pinal County, Ariz., sheriff’s deputy by suspected illegal-alien drug traffickers should be a "wake-up call" for politicians in Washington, D.C., Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) said the “border region is out of control” and called for immediate deployment of the National Guard there.
Deputy Sheriff Louie Puroll was wounded in a shoot-out with five drug smugglers on Friday after he encountered them with a large shipment of marijuana. Pinal County is in south central Arizona.
“This incident must serve as a wake-up call for Washington--there are real lives at stake, and there is no more time to waste,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick.
“The assault on Deputy Puroll should show the rest of the country what we Arizonans have known for too long --the unsecured border poses a very real and very immediate danger to our safety,” she said
“It is clear to everyone that our frontline security personnel need to be provided with the manpower and resources to secure our borders and keep dangerous criminals like those who attacked Deputy Puroll out of this country,” the Democratic congresswoman said in a statement issued after Puroll was shot.
“I firmly believe that any long-term solution must include greatly expanding the U.S. Border Patrol,” she Kirkpatrick said. “However, because it will take time to hire and train thousands of additional agents, the federal government should immediately deploy the National Guard to the border to tighten security right away. There can be no further question that we have to put more boots on the ground to protect our communities, and we have to do it now.”
Kirkpatrick said her thoughts and prayers are with the family of the officer, who is expected to survive the attack.
“This is not the first tragic incident we have suffered in our state as a result of Washington's failed policies, and it will not be the last,” she said. “The border region is out of control, and the federal government cannot ignore its responsibilities anymore.”
The Associated Press reported that on Saturday authorities arrested 17 illegal aliens in the region near where Deputy Puroll was shot and that three of them may have been involved in the incident. The Associated Press said that at least 30 round were fired in the gun fight that ensued when Puroll encountered the drug smugglers, that Purrol was grazed, and that he has since been released from the hospital.