Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Remembering a fallen colleague: Kris Eggle

Four years ago today at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a young and bright park ranger lost his life while pursuing a suspect who had crossed the Mexican border and illegally entered the U.S. Kris Eggle had a promising future as a park ranger. He received the Director's Award while attending FLETC and was well respected by his peers.

Many people forget that park rangers are law enforcement officers that must risk their lives to protect our parks. Take a moment to remember officers like Kris Eggle who gave their lives to protect our country's precious natural resources and those who visit them.

Those of you that are park rangers remember to never let your guard down because any stop can turn into a felony stop.

Park Ranger Kristopher William Eggle (The Officer Down Memorial)

Ranger Kristopher Eggle was shot and killed while he and several U.S. Border Patrol Agents attempted to apprehended two armed, illegal aliens.

The suspects had fled from Mexican authorities into Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona at 1400 hours. The Mexican authorities called the Border Patrol and notified them of the suspects. A Border Patrol helicopter in the area located the suspects and directed Ranger Eggle and Border Patrol Agents to the area.

One of the suspects was apprehended without incident, but the second suspect opened fire with an AK-47 rifle. Ranger Eggle was struck below his vest, causing a fatal wound. The suspect then fled on foot south toward the Mexican border. He ran to approximately fifty yards from the border, where approximately 30 to 50 Mexican officers from numerous agencies opened fire from Mexico killing him. A medivac helicopter was sent to the scene, but Ranger Eggle had already succumbed to his wounds.

The suspect who was arrested during the incident was sentenced to 15.5 years in prison.

Ranger Eggle was a recent recipient of the Director's Award at FLETC. He is survived by his parents and a sister, who is also a law enforcement ranger for the Park Service.

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