On August 9, 2002, Ranger Eggle was killed by Mexican drug dealers while on duty in Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Park. Eggle was attempting to apprehend two smugglers, after being notified by Mexican authorities that the two had crossed the border and were headed into the park.
One of the drug dealers opened fire on Ranger Eggle with an AK-47. He was apparently struck below his protective vest, inflicting what would be a mortal wound. He died before a medevac helicopter arrived on the scene. Mexican police officers shot and killed Eggle’s murderer.
U.S. Park Ranger Eggle, 27, left behind his grieving parents and his sister (also a U.S. Park Ranger).
An excerpt of an interview with Kris’ mom, Bonnie Eggle, from the book “No Safe Places: Death at the Hands of Illegal Aliens,” follows:
I was visiting my daughter who was working at Yellowstone National Park that summer. We had been out touring in the a.m. and came home for lunch around Oneish. Shortly after we arrived, there was a knock at the door. Jen went to answer and it was another Ranger named Mike–she invited him in and was chit-chatting with him. I thought he acted very nervous. He asked Jennifer to sit down. AND then he blurted out the words, “Kris was been shot and he is in very bad shape!” (We found out later he knew Kris was dead, but Bob wanted to call us and tell us.) We kept saying we needed to go to him and NOW. We were both crying and kept asking where was he shot? He didn’t answer us. I just kept saying he needs us—let’s go.
All of a sudden there were 4 more Rangers in Jen’s house, including the Chief Ranger and the phone rang. It was Bob. He was at home in Cadillac and was notified by the Cadillac Sheriff’s Dept and then the NPS Superintendent from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. He told everyone, no one was to tell Jen or me. He needed to do that.
Jen answered the phone and kept saying, “No, Dad, no! No, Dad, no!” Then she handed me the phone and I was screaming “NO. NO. NO. I need to get to him. He needs me.” Bob kept saying, “Bonnie, you can’t go to him now. He is dead and they have taken his body to Phoenix for an autopsy.” I did not want to believe it and kept saying. …No. No. No. I just remember standing up and falling and one of he Rangers catching me before I hit the floor. I was screaming and sobbing and couldn’t stop. It just could not be true.
The Chief Ranger told us to go pack our bags and they were making arrangements to take us to an airport in Montana that could get us out to Phoenix in the a.m. Both Jennifer and I did that, but I could hardly focus. She kept encouraging me to keep packing so we could leave. I thought we should be able to get to Phoenix that night, but there were no flights from any of the little airports until the next a.m.
The Rangers took us to Bozeman, MT. where they got us a motel and made arrangements for a flight at 6 a.m. The motel lined up a driver to take us. Jennifer and I just laid in bed, wrapped in each others’ arms and sobbed all night. If there was any sleep, it was very little. Just plain horrible.
We arrived at the airport and the rest of this nightmare was to unfold…