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Slain border patrol agent worked a well-worn drug-smuggling corridor (+video)

Authorities remain mum on the investigation into the shooting death Tuesday of US border patrol agent Nicholas Ivie. He and two other agents had responded to a tripped sensor in a known drug-running corridor in Arizona.

The Associated Press provides official response from a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Arizona on the shooting death of a US Border Patrol agent.
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Authorities are still piecing together the events leading to the shooting death Tuesday of a US border patrol agent and the wounding of another in remote southern Arizona.

Nicholas Ivie, who had worked for the agency since 2008, was killed while patrolling along the US-Mexico border, according to Customs and Border Protection. The second agent, whose name was not disclosed, is expected to recover from his wounds. A third agent was unharmed in the shooting that happened shortly before 2 a.m. about five miles north of the border, authorities say.

Investigators had named no suspects as of late Tuesday, although Acting Cochise County Sheriff Rod Rothrock, whose office is probing the shooting with the FBI, said there may be "at least two suspects, maybe more."

The border agents had responded to a tripped ground sensor in the area, a well-worn corridor for smugglers trying to get illegal drugs across the border, when the shooting occurred. Authorities have not said whether the agents fired their guns or if investigators have recovered any weapons at the scene.

Mr. Ivie, who was 30 and a Utah native, was assigned to a border patrol station in the small town of Naco, Ariz., that just two weeks ago was renamed in honor of border patrol agent Brian Terry, also shot dead in the line of duty in 2010. His death later was linked, through two guns found at the crime scene, to the now infamous gun-running operation "Fast and Furious."

Soon after Ivie's death, politicians from Arizona and beyond blamed the shooting on lax border security and alluded to the ill-fated operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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