NACO, Ariz. — A Border Patrol agent was shot to death yesterday 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 reported to be in stable condition yesterday afternoon.
Authorities have not identified the agent who was wounded, nor did they say whether any weapons were seized at the site of the shooting.
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 FBI and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, which is also investigating, declined to say whether investigators have recovered guns or bullet casings.
No arrests have 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 two agents shot yesterday were stationed, was recently named after Terry.