Bisbee, AZ - John Hook with Fox 10 Phoenix is asking questions about Border Patrol Agent Nick Ivie's death the night of October 2, 2012, in the hills outside Bisbee. The former Obama administration claims it was friendly fire but now a local news station is questioning if Agent Ivie may have been murdered during a shootout with illegal drug runners.
An electronic sensor went off two or three miles south of the border on that night, in the area of Paul Spur, according to Fox 10 Phoenix, who talked with local rancher Ed Ashurst. Three Border Patrol agents including Agent Ivie responded to the area about 1 AM.
Two agents approached from the south, and Agent Ivie approached from the north. They used flashlights to communicate with each, and signaled to each other when they reached the top of a hilltop. There was also a full moon.
Gunfire rang out after Agent Ivie signaled back to the other two agents, and Agent Ivie was killed.
Two days later, then Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and former Border Patrol Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar visited Agent Ivie's family. They told the family that they were sorry for their loss but that Agent Ivie had opened fire on the other two agents, who killed him in a friendly fire incident. They also claimed that no one else was on the hill that night.
No official government report was ever filed. Ashurst, who has written a book about the incident, based his beliefs on what happened on a Cochise County Sheriff's Office report where a Sergeant wrote that he witnessed an interview that night of a female Border Patrol agent.
In that interview, the unnamed Border Patrol agent said that she heard "multiple voices, 'Spanish-speaking individuals.'" She also said that she saw three or four people walking south toward Mexico.
The Sergeant said that he saw blood droplets going down a hill toward Mexico, and that fresh blood was found on three plastic drink bottles. Other evidence was found that suggested the area was a smuggling route bed-down area.
Ashurst believes without a doubt that Agent Ivie was fired upon by smugglers, that he returned fire, and was murdered by the smugglers.
Fox 10 Phoenix reached out to the Department of Homeland Security but have not received a response. A Border Patrol Agent did talk to another Border Patrol agent confidentially who said that Agent Ivie was "an experienced, cool-headed officer." He also confirmed that all three agents were communicating with flashlights and radios on that night.
Fox 10 Phoenix also tried to contact Janet Napolitano and David Aguilar but have received no response.
The names of the two Border Patrol agents who were also present that night have never been released, and were transferred within days after the incident.
The timing was very close to the election. Perhaps the government did not need another scandal, perhaps they didn't need proof that the border was not as secure as they claimed it to be, or perhaps the incident occurred as Janet Napolitano and David Aguilar claim.