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Bishop E. Evans Wiki
Bishop E. Evans Biography
The Texas National Guard soldier who died trying to save suspected drug traffickers on the Rio Grande River was identified Sunday as Specialist Bishop E. Evans, 22, of Arlington, Texas.
The search for Evans’ body is still ongoing after he reportedly drowned Friday after jumping into the water while scuba diving in Texas and Mexico in an attempt to rescue two men from the current.
Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy sent out a quick “rest in peace” message on Twitter following the posting of the deceased’s name.
Illinois Republican Party Rep. Mary Miller tweeted Sunday: ‘Praying for Bishop Evans of the Texas National Guard SPC and his family. What a horrible tragedy for them to endure, he was only 22 years old.
Evans’ death comes just a month before Title 42 ends, which will spark an even bigger immigration crisis at the southern border, where immigration agencies are already overwhelmed.
National Guardsmen from several states have been deployed to help with the influx of immigrants since President Joe Biden took office last January.
On Friday, when news broke of the death of an unidentified soldier, Texas lawmakers sent messages of remorse.
‘Heidi and I are praying for the Texas Army National Guard Soldier and my team and I are closely monitoring reports of what happened today. God bless our men and women in uniform,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz tweeted.
Texas Republican Congressman Tony Gonzalez wrote
Texas Republican Congressman Tony Gonzalez wrote, “I am heartbroken to learn of the death of a Texas National Guard soldier.”
“Our Citizen-Soldiers are responding to our toughest challenges, including the border crisis,” he added. “As we have seen with the death of migrants and now with the tragic loss of a guard, this crisis can be deadly for everyone involved.”
Authorities are searching for Evans, who went missing after jumping into the Rio Grande to save a pair of drowning Mexican migrants.
The 22-year-old soldier jumped into the water near Eagle Pass, Texas on Friday and has not been seen since, according to a news release from the Texas Military Department.
Evans is now presumed to have drowned.
Multiple agencies searched for the soldier on Saturday and “will continue until we have exhausted all available resources,” the department said.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the soldier’s family.”
The preliminary investigation revealed that the migrants, who are now in border patrol custody, were involved in transnational illicit drug trafficking.
It is unclear if the military knew of his alleged criminal activity when he jumped to the rescue.
The guard had been assigned to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star initiative, which was aimed at combating illegal border crossings and drugs.
Little is known about the incident, however video captured by NBC News showed boats full of crews traveling down the river in search of the soldier.
Divers were also seen wading through the water.
At least a dozen vehicles were parked along the shoreline as officials on land cleared land.
As of Sunday afternoon, the soldier had still not been found. The individual’s family has been notified of his disappearance.
The Texas National Guard on Saturday acknowledged rumors of a death, but said those reports were false and he is being reported as missing.
Officials continued their search again on Sunday. Abbott has provided his support to agencies trying to locate the guard.
“The Texas Governor’s office continues to work with the Texas National Guard and other law enforcement agencies in the search for the missing soldier,” he said in a statement. “Updates will be provided as more details become available.”
Jon Anfinsen, local president of the Border Patrol union in the Del Rio sector, said the river was deceptively dangerous.
He said 11 migrant bodies have been recovered this month alone on the US side of this stretch of the river, and 12 on the Mexican side.
“Sometimes you see immigrants use an inner tube, but on this part of the river, people hold hands and walk in a human chain,” he told The Washington Post.
‘If they step into a hole, that’s it. The river appears calm and passable, but it moves fast and is deceptive.
Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, who spoke to DailyMail.com on Friday, said it was unlikely the soldier is still alive.
“After more than three hours, it’s very doubtful,” he said, adding: “That area of the river is very dangerous at this time of year.”
Very strong tides and currents. It didn’t resurface.
Schmerber revealed that officers recovered a walkie talkie and bulletproof vest belonging to the soldier on Friday afternoon, more than two hours after he went into the water.
The sheriff also confirmed that at least one of the migrants the guard tried to rescue, a woman, had not actually drowned and only appeared to be struggling with the strong current.
“She made it successfully to the US side of the river, where she was taken into Border Patrol custody,” where she remained Friday afternoon, Schmerber said. The rest of his group, the sheriff revealed, was sent by border officials back to Mexico.
The area serves as a common crossing point for migrants entering the country from Mexico.
The guard was a member of Operation Lone Star, which Abbott launched in March 2021 amid a wave of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing the US-Mexico border.
The initiative deploys Texas Department of Public Safety officers and Texas National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border in areas known to be used by drug and human traffickers.
The lawyer and other critics have criticized Operation Lone Star as unconstitutional and illegal, the television network reported. Last September, more than 200 people were ordered released after ‘being held for weeks without charge’.
Abbott, who is running for re-election this November, has previously said the initiative is needed to secure the border while the administration of President Joe Biden was “absent.”
The governor has launched several controversial efforts to combat the crisis at the southern border, including the most recent transportation of illegal immigrants from Texas to Washington D.C.
Abbott drew nationwide attention earlier this month after he sent four buses full of immigrants from Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico who crossed illegally into the United States to the Capitol.
The governor directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to give willing immigrants a free one-way ticket to D.C. for being willing in an effort to show Biden the scale of the problem and ‘take him to the border.’
As of last weekend, nearly 80 immigrants had been transported to the Capitol.
Bishop E. Evans Quick and Facts
- Authorities continued searching for a missing Army guardsman on Saturday
- The soldier, 22, jumped into the Rio Grande on Friday to save drowning migrants
- Officials will continue their search until they ‘exhausted all available resources’
- Police say the migrants were involved in illicit transnational narcotics trafficking
- They were safely rescued and are now in custody of border patrol
- It is unclear if the soldier knew of their alleged criminal activities