FOLLOW-UP: Border Patrol sticks to its guns, says Ivie shooting was not a cover-up

The FBI never released a report on the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent near Bisbee in 2012.

However, the agency determined the shooting was a case of friendly fire. The agent, Nicholas Ivie, opened fire on two border patrol agents approaching a hilltop from a different direction.

And one agent returned fire, killing Ivie. But some think Mexican drug smugglers were on that hilltop, and that a government cover-up blamed Ivie for what happened.

Now, the Border Patrol also doesn't want anyone to think Agent Nicholas Ivie is to blame for what happened that night.

"Nick did nothing wrong and I want to be really clear about that," said Jeffrey D. Self, the Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Border Patrol Sector. 

But on October 2, 2012, the night Nicholas Ivie was killed, Self was the Joint Field Commander for Arizona.

"It ended up being a horrific evidence of friendly fire blue on blue," said Self.

There is now a monument to Nick Ivie that stands on the hilltop where he was killed.

"They perceived each other as a deadly threat and they took the action that they deemed necessary for that threat and we lost Nick," said Self.

"But the fact is there were outlaws. There was some kind of catalyst that set gunfire off," said Ed Ashurst, an Arizona rancher and author.

Rancher and author, Ed Ashurst, believes Ivie was actually ambushed by drug smugglers. And he's not the only one.

We spoke to one Border Patrol agent, anonymously, who believes Ivie would have never opened fire without good reason.

Ashurst also points to this Cochise County Sheriff's report which says the one Border Patrol agent not hurt says she saw three or four other people on the hill that night.

"She heard multiple voices, Spanish-speaking individuals and she saw several bodies. Three or four walking south toward Mexico," said Ashurst.

"That report does exist, that interview did take place," said Self.

Self knows about the report, and he knows what the agent said just moments after the shooting. But he thinks people should take a look at all the evidence -- not just what a traumatized agent said just after the shooting.

"They are taking that one piece and drawing a conclusion -- there was some kind of conspiracy or cover-up as a result of this one report," said Self.

The alleged conspiracy has its roots in the 2012 al Qaeda attack on Benghazi, Libya.

The uproar over how that attack was handled by the White House led some to believe that the Ivie killing was really the result of a shootout with drug smugglers.

They believe the White House wanted it covered up after promising the country the border was secure.

"They did not want anybody to know there might be an armed outlaw north of the border," said Ashurst.

Not true, says the Border Patrol. Self says no one was pressured into a cover-up.

"I can tell you that would never happen. We would be screaming from the rooftops if anyone even approached us on that," said Self.

And that any suggestion that the Border Patrol blamed Ivie for what happened that night is just wrong.

"Nick Ivie is not responsible for what happened to him. Nick Ivie was a stellar agent. Nick Ivie exercised sound tactics in doing his job. Everybody who knew Nick knows that Nick was just a good, dedicated Border Patrol agent, dedicated father, dedicated husband. And paid the ultimate sacrifice and is an American Hero," said Self.

Chief Self says the two other Border Patrol agents were transferred after the shooting at their own request, and that Self's own transfer to El Paso had nothing to do with the Nicholas Ivie shooting investigation.