Border Patrol Agent Fired First: Probe

Nicholas Ivie died when fellow agents returned fire
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2012 5:14 PM CDT
Family members of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie participate in Thursday Oct. 4, 2012, candlelight ceremony in Naco, Arizona.   (AP Photo/Beatrice Richardson, Sierra Vista Herald)
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(Newser) – Details are emerging on the probe into Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie's death, which sparked debate over border security and drug-cartel violence coming from Mexico, the AP reports. Apparently Ivie responded to a sensor tripped in southern Arizona and fired on two other agents thinking they were smugglers, according to George McCubbin, head of the Border Patrol agents union. The agents returned fire, killing Ivie.

"The area was dark, it was thick brush, they may not have seen each other," McCubbin told the Arizona Republic. Cochise County Acting Sheriff Rodney Rothrock, whose office is investigating with the FBI, said the two sets of agents may have responded separately to the sensor. But the news means little to Ivie's family, who consider the friendly fire find "just details," said a family spokesman. "The fact is he is gone, and that is what the family is focusing on and their time together and their time for healing."

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