MEXICO CITY — Federal police have arrested two men who may be connected with the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent just north of the Mexico/Arizona border, a Mexican law enforcement official said Thursday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear if there was strong evidence linking the men to the shooting of Agent Nicholas Ivie.
Ivie and two other agents were fired upon Tuesday in a rugged hilly area about 5 miles north of the border as they responded to an alarm that was triggered on one of the sensors that the government has installed along the border. The wounded agent was shot in the ankle and buttocks and released from the hospital after undergoing surgery. The third agent wasn’t injured.
Ivie was a 30-year-old father of two who grew up in Utah and was active in the Mormon church. He was an agent for four years.
Authorities have declined to provide other details, including what they believe prompted the shooting and whether the agents were ambushed. Still, they suspect that more than one person fired on the agents.
The last Border Patrol agent fatally shot on duty was Brian Terry, who died in a shootout with bandits near the border in December 2010. Terry’s shooting was later linked to the government’s “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling operation, which allowed people suspected of illegally buying guns for others to walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather than be arrested.