SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 5, 2012

Mexico holds 2 in border shooting

PHOENIX — Federal police have arrested two men who may be connected with the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent just north of the Mexico-Arizona border, a Mexican law enforcement official said yesterday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear if there was strong evidence linking the men to the shooting of Agent Nicholas Ivie.

Ivie and two other agents were fired upon Tuesday in a rugged hilly area about five miles north of the border near Bisbee, Ariz., as they responded to an alarm that was triggered on one of the sensors that the government has installed along the border.

The wounded agent was shot in the ankle and buttocks and released from the hospital after undergoing surgery. The third agent wasn’t injured.

Brenda Nath, an FBI spokeswoman in Arizona, and Border Patrol officials in Arizona declined to comment on the detention of the two men in Mexico. The Cochise County sheriff’s office, which is also investigating the shooting, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lydia Antonio, a spokeswoman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, confirmed the two detentions, but declined to say what prompted them and what made authorities suspect the two might be involved in the shooting.

At a news conference yesterday in Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder said he is getting updates on the investigation’s progress and has spoken with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the probe.

Napolitano is traveling to Arizona today to express her condolences to Ivie’s family and to meet with law enforcement authorities in southern Arizona about the investigation.

Authorities have declined to provide key details about Tuesday’s shooting, including what they believe prompted the shooting, whether the agents were ambushed and whether any guns from the shooting were recovered. Still, they suspect that more than one person fired on the agents.

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