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Border Patrol agent stabbed 'multiple times' during fight; suspect shot and killed

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man Monday night, after the agent was stabbed "multiple times" during a struggle in the hills east of Nogales, Ariz., officials said.

The agent was flown to a hospital in Tucson, where he was treated and released, officials said.

Around 7 p.m., the unnamed agent was patrolling on foot near Duquesne Road, east of Nogales, when he attempted to apprehend a group of people suspected of being in the country illegally, said a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

A member of the group attacked the agent, stabbing him multiple times with a knife, the spokesman said. Using his pistol, the agent "fatally shot" his assailant during the altercation, the spokesman said. 

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said that his department was asked to provide backup, and that the agent was in his mid-30s and was airlifted to a hospital in Tucson. 

"I hope he wasn't alone," Estrada said. "That's remote, dangerous territory."

Duquesne Road leads through Kino Springs and winds on to the border hamlet of Lochiel, about 25 miles east of Nogales and also on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Officials did not release the identity of the man who was killed.

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Tuesday morning, CBP officials said that the agent had been airlifted from the scene by an agency helicopter, and flown to the Nogales airport, from where an air ambulance carried him to Tucson. The agent was treated and released from the hospital overnight.

The FBI, CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility, along with the Office of Inspector General with the Department of Homeland Security, were all notified along with sheriff's office. The FBI is the lead agency investigating the incident.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

A Border Patrol vehicle drives along the border near Naco, Arizona.