OREM, Utah — Friends, family and colleagues of a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot last week in Arizona remembered him Thursday as a loving family man and member of a unique group committed to protecting America and serving others.
Hundreds turned out for a second funeral service for Nicholas Ivie at Utah Valley University. Dozens of law enforcement officials lined the street as a hearse arrived at the university, and the audience stood as bagpipes played and six fellow agents escorted Ivie’s flag-draped coffin into the building.
Ivie epitomized the individuals of character and mettle who serve on the border each day, said David Aguilar, deputy commission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Aguilar himself served in the border patrol for 30 years, and likened agents to those serving in the military: Individuals who are responsive to the needs of the country, their communities and citizens.
“Everyone who knew Nick was proud and ready to serve with him,” Aguilar said. “He was a member of a family that patrols, rides, hikes, trudges, toils and flies the borders of our nation in order to protect our way of life.”
Ivie, an agent who regularly patrolled on horseback, was shot to death last week near the Mexico border as three agents responded to an alarm that was triggered by a sensor aimed at detecting smugglers. A second agent was wounded. The FBI says it appears the agents opened fire on each other in a case of friendly fire.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher recounted traveling to the spot where Ivie died last week, trekking up through heavy washes, a steep climb to the saddle of the mountain where Ivie was working. He spent about 20 minutes there, saying a prayer for Ivie and his family.
“I know that Nick would have preferred that we went up on horseback, but it was not to be done that day,” Fisher said, adding that he instead wore his official patrol-issued cowboy boots in Ivie’s honor.
A Provo native, Ivie was to be buried later Thursday in the cemetery in nearby Spanish Fork.