The tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents, according to a statement from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge, James L. Turgal, Jr.
Apparently Agent Ivie opened fire on his two fellow agents thinking they were smugglers and was killed when the two agents returned fire, National Border Patrol Council President George McCubbin said.
Ivie, and two other agents responded to a sensor hit near mile maker 352 on Highway 80, 15 miles west of Douglas and seven miles north of the border after 1:30 a.m. on Oct 2.
He apparently opened fire first and wounded one of the other agents but was killed in the return fire.
“I don’t know what it was he saw or heard that triggered this whole event,” McCubbin said. “Unfortunately it resulted in his death and another agent injured.”
On Oct. 4 the U.S. Embassy of Mexican confirmed apprehension of two unknown suspects in Ivie’s killing.
“We arrested two individuals yesterday (Oct. 4) suspected of being involved in the attack on the Border Patrol agents. Given that there is an ongoing investigation we cannot comment further, except to say that the Mexican government will continue working shoulder to shoulder with U.S. authorities to bring those responsible to justice,” Spokeswomen for the Mexican Embassy, Lydia Antonio said.
Nothing has been released on the outcome of the unknown suspects.
Joint Field Commander Jeff Self met with the Ivie family on Oct. 5, to update them on the status of the investigation.
“I explained to Agent Ivie’s family that, if the investigation ultimately reaches that conclusion, it changes none of the following facts: That Agent Ivie gave the ultimate sacrifice and died serving his country,” Self said in a statement provided to the press. “That he died in the line of duty and will be honored as such for his final act of service. That Agent Ivie served for more than six years protecting this country against those who threaten our way of life. That he will be remembered by all of us who served alongside him for his character, kindness and loyalty.”
Agent Ivie was a native of Provo, Utah and joined the U.S. Border Patrol in January 2008.
He leaves behind his wife Christy and two daughters one and three.
The other unidentified Border Patrol agent that sustained non-life threatening wounds has been released from the hospital.
The investigation is being led by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) and the FBI.
“Today, we know that in the uncertainty of darkness, the conditions were set; and the hand of God brought Nick home,” Self said.
Funeral services were held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sierra Vista, Oct. 8. A second funeral will be held Thursday morning at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah.