The FBI said Friday that a U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in Arizona earlier this week was likely a victim of friendly fire, CNN reported.


"There are strong preliminary indications that the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie, 30, and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents," Special Agent James Turgai said in a statement.

According to The Associated Press, Ivie was shot while responding to a possible undocumented immigrant crossing at a portion of the U.S-Mexico border near Bisbee, Arizona when he and another two agents responding to the same call mistook each other for hostile gunmen. One of the other two agents was injured during the exchange of gunfire that killed Ivie.

Ivie's death was soon cited by Republican lawmakers; Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) said it was an example of lax border security, while Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) blamed it on the failed "Fast and Furious" gun operation carried out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tax and Firearms.

Watch the AP report on Ivie's death, posted on YouTube Friday, below.