FOX News and AP are reporting that the FBI is investigating the possibility that the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie and the wounding of another was a case of the agents exchanging fire among themselves, known as friendly fire.
The conclusion is based on an analysis of the ballistics, the lack of evidence of other criminals in the area at the time, and other factors, the sources said. A formal statement about the findings could come later tonight.
State and federal officials said immediately after the incident that the shootings were committed by armed criminals. And since then, Mexican authorities have said they arrested two men in Agua Prieta, northern Sonora state, a few miles from where the shooting occurred.
The probe is looking into whether the two agents exchanged gunfire Tuesday in the mistaken belief that each was being fired on by a hostile gunman. The shootings occurred five miles ( 8 kilometers) north of the Mexican border.
The shootings occurred in a rugged hilly area as Nicholas Ivie and two other agents responded to an alarm that was triggered on one of the sensors that the government has installed along the border. Ivie was fatally shot. The wounded agent was shot in the ankle and buttocks and released from the hospital after undergoing surgery. The third agent was not injured.