The below Fox News report says that the FBI suspects that Border Patrol Nicholas Ivie may have been killed by bullets fired from another Border Patrol agent's gun during a shootout near the Mexico-Arizona border this week.
I pray to God that isn't true. Having been in one shootout when I was a DEA agent and having been in hundreds of arrest and/or raid situations in which gunfire was always a possibility, I can imagine what that would do to the agent involved. These can happen. They have happened before. When it does, it is a double tragedy because the agent or police officer who fired the shots will carry it with him or her the rest of his or her life.
In these kinds of situations, things happen very fast, confusion may reign, and split second judgments have to be made. It can happen in a parking lot, a hotel room, in the middle of a crowded street, or an apartment or house. If more than one agency is involved in a joint operation, it is crucial that everybody knows the faces of those who are participating on their side. In this particular case, it seems that agents were responding to the location of a sensor alarm from different directions in darkness. I assume they knew each other. Anyway, it is senseless to speculate any further. The incident will be investigated and possibly there will be teaching points to be learned and incorporated into future training. I just hope to God it was not a case of friendly fire.