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Border Patrol agent killed in motorcycle crash near Sells

A Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent was killed in a motorcycle crash Thursday, authorities said. 

The agent — identified as Manuel Alvarez, 37 —was riding a motorcycle while on duty on the Tohono O'odham Nation south of Sells, officials said. 

A statement released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that Alvarez was assigned to the Casa Grande Station, and had worked as a Border Patrol agent for 13 years. 

He is survived by his wife and four children, officials said. 

A procession of Border Patrol vehicles and personnel followed Alvarez's body to the Pima County Medical Examiner in Tucson from Sells. 

An agency spokesman said that the department would not release any more information on the incident on Thursday. 

In a statement, CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said that he and Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan were "deeply saddened to inform" the community that Alvarez had died. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Agent Alvarez," Kerlikowske said.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday morning that flags at state office buildings would be flown at half-staff until sunset, and again on the day of Alvarez's funeral.

The last time a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent was killed in the line of duty was in May 2014, when Agent Alexander I. Giannini died from injuries received in a rollover accident on Interstate 10 east of Tucson.  

More recently, Border Patrol Agent Jose D. Barraza died on April 18, in two-vehicle accident near Sierra Blanca, Texas.

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