Speed Reads

Operation Lone Star

Texas National Guard soldier's body recovered from border river where he died saving 2 migrants

Spc. Bishop E. Evans, a field artilleryman with the Texas National Guard, jumped into the Rio Grande to rescue two migrants trying to cross over from Mexico on Friday morning. His body was recovered Monday, after an extensive three-day search effort by the Texas Military Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the U.S. Border Patrol. Evans, 22, was serving at the border as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) controversial Operation Lone Star initiative. 

"Our National Guard soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others and we are eternally grateful for the way Spc. Evans heroically served his state and country," Abbott said in a statement. Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, adjutant general for Texas, recognized "the selflessness of this heroic soldier who put his life above others in service to our state and national security."

Evans joined the National Guard in 2019, and before being ordered to the Rio Grande Valley, he served in Operation Spartan Shield in Iraq and Kuwait, the National Guard said.

Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, a former Border Patrol officer, told The Associated Press this was the first time he could recall a Guard member entering the water to rescue someone. The body of a migrant was also recovered during the search for Evans, but the two migrants he tried to help survived and are in federal Customs and Border Protection custody.