Deputy U.S. marshal killed in the line of duty

John Perry was the third federal officer to be shot to death in less than a month.

Deputy U.S.Marshal John Perry died Tuesday after being shot during a firefight in St. Louis, with another marshal and a St. Louis police officer also injured during the incident.

Perry had been part of a task force attempting to apprehend Carlos Boles, a suspect wanted for possession of a controlled substance and assault of a police officer, according to the Justice Department. Boles also was killed during the incident after law enforcement returned fire.

Perry is the third federal officer to be shot to death on duty in the past month, National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund records show. On February 16, Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller died after being shot while serving a warrant in West Virginia. A day earlier, Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime Zapata was shot dead while assisting Mexican authorities with anti-drug trafficking enforcement in Mexico.

Responding to Tuesday's events, U.S. Marshals Director Stacia A. Hylton said in a statement, "Our deputies and law enforcement partners face danger every day in the pursuit of justice for the citizens of this great nation. Our people and our partners are well-trained and prepared, but it is impossible to predict when a wanted individual will make a fateful choice that results in the loss of life or injury. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fallen deputy, as well as the injured and their families."

Attorney General Eric Holder also expressed his remorse in a statement released Wednesday morning. "Yesterday's tragic shootings in St. Louis are yet another solemn reminder of the dangers that U.S. marshals confront on a daily basis." Holder said.