A U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another wounded in a shooting Tuesday morning near Naco, the agency said. Border agents are searching the hills between Bisbee and Douglas for the gunman.
Nicholas Ivie, 30, was killed around 1:50 a.m. after he and two other agents responded to a sensor hit near mile marker 352 on State Route 80, the Border Patrol confirmed about 12:30 p.m.
At an afternoon news conference, FBI Special Agent in Charge James Turgal refused to release specifics on the case; he declined to comment on reports that two suspects in the shooting have been detained in Mexico.
“I’m not going to talk about any issues regarding suspects at this time,” Turgal told reporters at 2 p.m.
The wounded BP agent, who has not yet been identified, was airlifted to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He underwent surgery and was in stable condition Tuesday morning. The agent was expected to be released from University of Arizona Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon, said George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing border agents.
The slain agent was identified as Nicholas J. Ivie, a native of Provo, Utah. Ivie joined the Border Patrol in January 2008. Ivie is survived by a wife and two children, agents said.
Gov. Jan Brewer blasted the federal government in a statement on the shooting.
“What happens next has become all-too-familiar in Arizona. Flags will be lowered in honor of the slain agent. Elected officials will vow to find those responsible. Arizonans and Americans will grieve, and they should. But this ought not only be a day of tears. There should be anger, too. Righteous anger – at the kind of evil that causes sorrow this deep, and at the federal failure and political stalemate that has left our border unsecured and our Border Patrol in harm’s way. Four fallen agents in less than two years is the result,” Brewer said in a press release.
“It has been 558 days since the Obama administration declared the security of the U.S.-Mexico border ‘better now than it has ever been.’ I’ll remember that statement today,” she said.
U.S. Sen. John McCain said, “While the investigation is still in its early stages, today’s events are a tragic reminder of the threats that Border Patrol agents face every day in the line of duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with these agents, their families, and all those in the Border Patrol community.”
I worked almost thirty years as a U.S. Customs Service (now ICE Homeland Security Investigations) special agent in Texas. Though I was not assigned to the Border, I worked with many agents who were. The culture of drug smugglers has changed dramatically in the last four years.
Both Human and Drug Smugglers used to give up or flee in the vast majority of their encounters with U.S. Law Enforcement authorities. For the last several years, smugglers have armed themselves with high capacity carbines (some supplied by Operation Fast and Furious) and body armor. Drug smugglers no longer abandon their loads, but instead kill to protect the load and protect themselves from the Mexican Cartels if they lose a load.
This makes for a most dangerous environment for federal as well as state and local law enforcement officers assigned near the U.S. border with Mexico. The fact that the Obama Administration, supplied the Cartel with semi-automatic weapons during Operation Fast and Furious has been established. Where is the furor among the public? It’s no where to be found because main stream media is a propaganda machine for the left, including the Obama.
Wake up America! The fate of our country is in your hands. Only 33 days left before Election Day on November 6.