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. It is not known whether the agents returned fire, she said.
The wounded agent should be released from the hospital later Tuesday, said George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing about 17,000 border patrol agents. The agents who were shot were on patrol with a third agent, who was not harmed, McCubbin said.
The Border Patrol said Ivie worked for the agency since January 2008 and grew up in Provo, Utah.
Ivie worked as an emergency medical technician before joining the Border Patrol, said his brother-in-law Todd Davis. Ivie was the youngest of five children, and often went camping, hunting and fishing with his family, Davis said.
Ivie’s desire to help others, and his love of the outdoors and riding horses led him to the Border Patrol, where he served on the horse patrol unit, Davis said.
“Nick always tried to help others. He was a very selfless man with his family, with his friends, in anything he did,” Davis said. “You know the risk but you pray this day would never happen.”
Twenty-six Border Patrol agents have died in the line of duty since 2002. Bisbee-area residents expressed a mix of concern and frustration about the shooting, along with recognition that the border can be a dangerous place.
The region has seen its share of violence in recent years, including the Terry shooting and the slaying of a well-known rancher in 2010. That killing is, in part, credited with pushing Arizona lawmakers to pass a law that requires officers, when they stop someone, to check the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.
“There is no security on the border — none,” said Edward L. Thomas, who owns rental properties in Bisbee.
Associated Press writer Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Ariz., contributed to this report.