A Mexican man who says he killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry fabricated his claim to gain attention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Friday.
The FBI said in a statement that agents interviewed Gustavo Cruz-Lozano in San Antonio on Thursday after he claimed to have killed Terry during an interview with Univision News.
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"During the course of the interview, Cruz-Lozano admitted to the agents that he lied about his involvement in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in order to garner attention," Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal, Jr. said in the statement.
Cruz-Lozano was taken into custody in Texas on Wednesday after he turned himself in on charges related to a separate incident: threatening to kill Hidalgo County, Texas Sheriff Lupe Treviño.
Before he turned himself in, Cruz-Lozano told Univision he shot Terry during a firefight with Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona who attempted to interrupt a drug shipment.
"We had a drug shipment and when they took us by surprise, people started surrounding them, and that's when we ambushed them," he told" Primer Impacto" correspondent Natalia Cruz. "When they started surrounding them and they had no time to react, I was the one, I was the one that killed him."
Terry's murder, which occurred on Dec. 14, 2010, is connected to Operation Fast and Furious, the U.S. government's botched effort to let guns "walk" across the southern border in an effort to track them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Around 1,400 weapons were lost during the operation, including two AK-47 rifles that were found at the scene of Terry's killing.
It remains unclear whether those weapons were used to kill Terry, but their discovery led to the operation becoming public, which in turn triggered widespread criticism of the Obama administration.
Five individuals have already been indicted during the course of the investigation into Terry's death. One of them, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, pleaded guilty in Oct. 2012 to first-degree murder in the death of Terry. According to the FBI, another indicted man was captured in Mexico and is awaiting extradition to the U.S.
Lincoln Combs, the Terry family's attorney, expressed skepticism to Univision News on Thursday about the possibility that Cruz-Lozano was involved in the killing since his name had not been part of the investigation thus far.
But when Brian's brother Kent Terry was shown the footage of the Univision News interview earlier this week, he said that Cruz-Lozano "sounds more credible than the guys they have in custody now. We'll wait and see what the investigation is."
"Hopefully he is telling the truth," he said. "I hope there is at least some truth to it."
Kent Terry commented on Cruz-Lozano's claims before the FBI responded to them.
The FBI said it would continue to "dedicate all necessary resources to this investigation."