- Photo: CBP

Photo: CBP

Suspected smugglers engaged in a shootout with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, leaving one officer dead and three wounded off the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico early Thursday.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in testimony before a Senate committee AMO agents were “gravely wounded” and confirmed one was killed, the New York Post reports.

One of the suspects was also killed in the firefight which happened about 12 miles off the coast of Cabo Rojo after officers approached a vessel they suspected of carrying illicit substances to the island, according to the CBP.

The agents were part of the special Air and Marine Operations (AMO) unit, who specialize in intercepting substances and people illegally approaching US territory.