Rumors of arrests in Border Patrol agent's death

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

NACO, Ariz. -- Rumors were running rampant Wednesday morning about the possible arrest of two suspects in connection with the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie in Southern Arizona.

A spokesman for the Cochise County Sheriff's Office told 3TV's Crystal Cruz that the rumors were just that -- rumors. The spokeswoman said the commander in charge of the investigation would address the rumors with his staff in their morning staff meeting and would consider briefing the media later in the day.

"Several rumors have been heard in relation to USBP having people in custody in this incident, however, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office does not have confirmation of this being accurate," wrote Carol Capas in an email to media outlets late Wednesday morning.

No other information was immediately available and no details were confirmed.

Investigators have remained tight-lipped about evidence processed at the crime scene, which is still considered active more than 24 hours after the shooting. The FBI and the CCSO expected to be on the scene for several days. Neither agency has said anything about whether agents recovered any weapons or shell casings.

While they are not releasing any specific details, investigators said early on that they believe there was more than one shooter. They will not, however, talk about what might have happened in the moments leading up to the shooting and those immediately following it.

Ivie, 30, was on patrol with two other agents about 100 miles from Tucson shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday when bullets started flying. The pair were on horseback, responding to a "sensor hit" near mile-maker 352 on Highway 80, which is seven miles east of Bisbee and five miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's still not clear if Ivie and his partners returned fire.

Ivie lived in Sierra Vista with his wife and their two young daughters. He was the youngest of five siblings.

"We are extremely proud of Nick and for his service both in his community and our country," Ivie's parents and brothers said in a statement. "He loved what he did and he gave it his all, including his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wonderful wife and his two beautiful girls."

One of the agents with Ivie was wounded in the shooting. He has been released from a Tucson hospital, according to a Customs and Border Patrol spokesman, and is expected to recover. The third agent, a woman, was not injured. Their names have not been released.

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. That shooting was later linked to the failed Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.

The Border Patrol station in Naco, where Ivie was stationed, was recently named after Terry.