Border Patrol agent killed
BY PAUL DAVENPORT & JACQUES BILLEAUD Associated Press
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
10/03/12 at 6:43 AM
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A Border Patrol agent was shot to death Tuesday in Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico line, the first fatal shooting of an agent since a deadly 2010 firefight with Mexican bandits that spawned congressional probes of a botched government gun-smuggling investigation.
The agent, Nicholas Ivie, 30, and a colleague were on patrol in the desert near Naco, Ariz., about 100 miles from Tucson, when shooting broke out shortly before 2 a.m., the Border Patrol said. The second agent was shot in the ankle and buttocks, and was in stable condition.
Authorities have not identified the agent who was wounded, nor did they say whether any weapons were seized at the shooting site.
At a news conference in Naco, an FBI official said the agency still was processing the crime scene and it might take several days to complete. The Cochise County Sheriff's Office is also investigating.
No arrests had been made, but authorities suspect that more than one person fired at the agents.
"It's been a long day for us but it's been longer for no one more than a wife whose husband is not coming home. It's been longer for two children whose father is not coming home, and that is what is going to strengthen our resolve" to find those responsible and enforce the law, said Jeffrey Self, commander of Customs and Border Protection's Arizona joint field command.
The last Border Patrol agent fatally shot on duty was Brian Terry, who died in a shootout with bandits near the border in December 2010. The Border Patrol station in Naco, where the agents shot Tuesday were stationed, was recently named after Terry.
Terry's shooting was later linked to the government's "Fast and Furious" gun-smuggling operation, which allowed people suspected of illegally buying guns for others to walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather than be arrested.
Authorities sought to track the guns into Mexico. Two rifles found at the scene of Terry's shooting were bought by a member of the gun-smuggling ring being investigated.
Critics of the operation say any shooting along the border now will raise the specter those illegal weapons are still being used in border violence.
The U.S. government has put thousands of sensors along the border that, when tripped, alert dispatchers that they should send agents to a particular location.
The agents were fired upon in a rugged hilly area about five miles north of the border as they responded to an alarm that was triggered on one of the sensors, said sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas.
The Border Patrol said Ivie worked for the agency since January 2008 and grew up in Provo, Utah.
U.S. Border Patrol agents stand on top of their vehicle and look into Mexico west of Douglas, Ariz., after a Border Patrol agent was shot and killed Tuesday. BENJIE SANDERS / Arizona Daily Star / AP
Detective Bill Silva (left) with the Bisbee Police Department and an unnamed agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration patrol a fence line east of Naco, Ariz. MIKE CHRISTY / Arizona Daily Star / AP