BUENOS AIRES — Argentina's former spy chief, who recently took up a post as a provincial governor, was killed in a New Year's Day shooting at his country house in Patagonia, authorities said Sunday.

Carlos Soria, 61, was just weeks into his job in the key oil-producing southern province of Rio Negro when he was shot after a family argument at his farmhouse near the town of General Roca at around 5:00 am, officials said.

He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

His deputy Alberto Weretilneck, who now becomes governor, told a radio interviewer the shooting appeared to be the result of a "domestic accident," involving handling of a firearm, and said "it will be up to the justice system to determine what happened."

Weretilneck said Soria's wife was the only other person at the house at the time of the shooting. Officials have ruled out suicide.

Police said however that one of the governor's sons was at a smaller house on the same property with his wife at the time of the incident.

Some local media reported that the governor's wife fatally shot him in the face during an argument.

Soria sustained a bullet wound to the left eye, police said.

The governor's wife was taken into the police station in General Roca to give a statement.

Soria was a member of the ruling Peronist party and a former head of the Argentine intelligence services, under ex-president Eduardo Duhalde in 2002.

He is survived by four children: Martin, the mayor of General Roca; German; Carlos; and Emilia.