Slain U.S. Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie was a quiet, family man who loved riding horses, hundreds of mourners who gathered in Sierra Vista this morning for his funeral were told.

He lived a life of quiet dignity,” Aaron Kerr, a colleague, friend and neighbor, told mourners as he fought back tears in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse. “A parent should not bury a child. A young wife should not have to say goodbye so soon,” Kerr said in the eulogy.

He said Kerr was a family man and shared a poem the slain agent wrote his wife while training at the Border Patrol academy.

Ivie was shot to death early Tuesday near Bisbee as three agents responded to an alarm that was triggered by a sensor aimed at detecting smugglers and others entering the U.S. illegally. A second agent was wounded.

It appears Ivie was shot by fellow agents in a case of friendly fire, according to the FBI. Agent Nicholas Ivie apparently opened fire first and wounded one of the other agents but was killed in the return fire, officials have said.

A horse-drawn carriage led a procession from a Sierra Vista funeral home to the service. Agents and officers from other law enforcement agencies, several on horseback, were positioned along the route. Gov. Jan Brewer and U.S. Rep. Ron Barber were among those attending the funeral.

Joel Ivie, also a Border Patrol agent, eulogized his brother. He told the crowd of his brother’s love for family and how he thought the area he patrolled was beautiful.

He also said that Ivie had installed the sensor he was was checking on the night he was killed.

Ivie was a horse patrol instructor, riding a mustang named Mouse, who earned the moniker because its ears had been frozen off. “He loved that horse,” Joel Ivie told mourners.

The brothers often patrolled together in the Naco area, and they carpooled to work, he said.

He ended his half-hour eulogy by saying his brother would likely ask that he help care for his wife and two daughters.

“Cowboy up and get on with things,” the brother added.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.