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Customs officer shoots, kills himself at Minnesota border crossing

GRAND PORTGAGE, Minn. -- A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer apparently shot and killed himself in the parking area of the U.S. port of entry in northeast Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed that the shooting is believed to have occurred at about 4 p.m. Sunday at the Pigeon River crossing on the border between Minnesota and Ontario near Grand Portage on the North Shore.

The incident is under investigation by the Cook County Sheriff's Office, which was called to the scene at about 6 p.m., said Sheriff Pat Eliasen.

Customs and Border Protection “is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of its own.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to the officer’s family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time,” the agency said in a statement. “Vigilance — a core value for CBP — includes looking out for our own employees. … CBP has an active suicide prevention and awareness program to maintain awareness among both employees and supervisors.”

The name of the officer is being withheld while an investigation continues and an autopsy is completed, Eliasen said.

“This is an extremely tough loss,” Eliasen said, describing the deceased as a veteran officer who had lived in the region for some time.

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