LOS ANGELES — A United States border agent on patrol along Arizona's border with Mexico was shot dead and another was wounded, officials said.
"One agent died from his injuries and another, who sustained non-life threatening wounds, was airlifted to a hospital," a spokesman with the US Customs and Border Protection agency told AFP.
The White House later released a statement saying that President Barack Obama had called the family of the agent, identified as Nicholas Ivie.
Obama "expressed his sadness for the family's loss and his gratitude for Agent Ivie's selfless service to his nation," it said.
"The president told the family they are in his thoughts and prayers and made clear that his administration was doing everything it could to locate those responsible for this tragic event."
There was no immediate word on who may have been behind the shooting. Border agents are on the frontline in America's battle with Mexico's notorious drug cartels.
The official said the shootings happened at around 1:50 am local time Tuesday (0750 GMT) in the town of Naco, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Tucson in the Arizona desert.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »