Investigators believe friendly fire led to the killing of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie and the wounding of a second agent last this week in southern Arizona, a stunning development in a case that had renewed concerns over cross-border drug-cartel violence and reignited a debate over border security, the Arizona Republic reports. Authorities initially said Ivie and two other agents came under fire from assailants as they responded on foot at night to a triggered motion sensor.
The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday on a hilltop a few miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border. Mexican authorities later arrested two suspects in the shooting. James Turgal, the special agent in charge of the Phoenix office of the FBI, confirmed the shooting now appears to be accidental. A source close to the investigation told the Republic that investigators have not found any evidence of illegal border crossers in the area and described what happened as unusual confluence of factors. The agents lost radio contact, and Ivie got spooked and started to shoot, the source said. Another agent shot back and those bullets killed Ivie, the source said.