A Texas soldier’s body recovered after trying to rescue drowning immigrants

The body of a Soldier with the Texas Army National Guard was recovered from the Rio Grande on Monday, a few days after he went missing while trying to rescue drowning migrants.

Special Bishop Evans, 22, was confirmed by Rep. Tony Gonzales while speaking to The Texas Tribune on Monday. Gonzales’ congressional district includes Eagle Pass, where Evans was originally based and where he was washed away trying to rescue migrants struggling to enter the United States on Friday morning.

“Spc. Evans will always be remembered for the courage and compassion he showed in saving lives in the Rio Grande,” Gonzales said wrote in a tweet. “We will ensure that this young soldier’s sacrifice is never forgotten.”

Evans first joined the Texas National Guard in 2019 and eventually served as a field artilleryman in Arlington and served in Iraq and Kuwait as part of Operation Spartan Shield. He was later assigned to border patrol at Eagle Pass in late 2020 as part of Governor Greg Abbott’s broader Operation Lone Star initiative.

Soldier found dead after helping migrants
The body of Texas National Guard specialist Bishop Evans was found days after it was washed away while trying to rescue migrants fighting in the Rio Grande. Above, a section of the US-Mexico border at Eagle Pass where Evans was stationed.
Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images

“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop E. Evans, who was reported missing in Eagle Pass on Friday,” Abbott said in a statement of Evans’ death. “Our National Guard Soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others, and we are eternally grateful for how SPC Evans has heroically served his state and country.”

According to the Tribune, Evans removed his body armor before jumping into the river around 9:45 a.m. Friday. Despite this precaution, he did not reappear. Efforts to locate him began shortly thereafter. The two migrants he was trying to help survived and were taken into custody by US Customs and Border Protection.

Efforts to find Evans included search parties combing the river using boats and helicopters. The search was briefly postponed on Saturday due to river conditions, but resumed on Sunday. Officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Parks and Wildlife and Border Patrol helped with the search.

“We are devastated by the loss of a member of our Guard family,” Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, adjutant general for Texas, said in a statement. “We recognize the selflessness of this heroic soldier who put his life above others in the service of our state and national security. The Texas Department of Defense offers our deepest condolences to the family.”

news week contacted the Texas National Guard for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/texas-soldiers-body-recovered-after-he-tried-rescue-drowning-immigrants-1700830 A Texas soldier’s body recovered after trying to rescue drowning immigrants

Rick Schindler

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