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Border Patrol agent killed in Arizona

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:26 AM EDT, Wed October 3, 2012
Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie, 30, was killed Tuesday near Naco, Arizona.
Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie, 30, was killed Tuesday near Naco, Arizona.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The agent is identified as 30-year-old Nicholas Ivie
  • Another agent is wounded
  • The FBI and a local sheriff's office are conducting a joint investigation
  • Ivie is the third Border Patrol agent killed in the line of duty this year

(CNN) -- A Border Patrol agent was shot and killed Tuesday, while another was wounded near Naco, Arizona, authorities said.

The agents fell under fire after responding to a sensor that had gone off near the border, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The agent killed was identified as 30-year-old Nicholas Ivie. A native of Provo, Utah, he joined the Border Patrol in January 2008. Ivie is survived by a wife and two children.

The agent who was wounded was not identified. After the shooting, he was airlifted to an area hospital and was reported to be in stable condition. His injuries were not life-threatening.

"Agent Ivie died in the line of duty, protecting our nation against those who threaten our way of life. His death only strengthens our resolve to enforce the rule of law and bring those responsible to justice," Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar said in a statement.

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The FBI is conducting a joint investigation with the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

James Turgal, special agent in charge of the FBI for the Phoenix division, declined to say whether the agents involved in the incident returned fire. He also declined to comment on whether any weapons had been found.

Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, said investigators are at the scene.

"Every time that a law enforcement person is either killed or shot or injured in the line of duty, we have to take a moment and think of our families and think of the heroes involved," Breuer said.

Agent Ivie is the 14th killed in the line of duty since 2008, including three this year.

He was killed near a border station recently named for Brian Terry, whose 2010 death led to the public disclosure of the botched Fast and Furious gun-smuggling sting, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

"There's no way to know at this point how the agent was killed, but because of Operation Fast and Furious, we'll wonder for years if the guns used in any killing along the border were part of an ill-advised gunwalking strategy sanctioned by the federal government. It's a sad commentary," the Republican senator said.

Turgal declined to comment on whether there could be a possible Fast and Furious connection to Tuesday's killing.

CNN's Deanna Proeller and Carol Cratty contributed to this report.

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