Updated Oct 3, 2012 - 9:56 am
Family: Border agent who died loved to help
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- A Border Patrol agent who was fatally shot in southern Arizona while working along the U.S.-Mexico border was an avid outdoorsman with a desire to help others, his brother-in-law said Tuesday.
Nicholas Ivie, 30, and a colleague were on patrol in the desert near Naco -- about 100 miles from Tucson -- when gunfire broke out shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday. The second agent was shot in the ankle and buttocks, and was airlifted to a hospital. His name has not been released, but he was reported in stable condition.
President Barack Obama called the Ivie family Tuesday night to offer condolences and gratitude for Ivie's " "selfless service to his nation," according to a White House statement.
No other Border Patrol agent has been fatally shot on duty since a 2010 firefight with Mexican bandits that spawned congressional probes of a botched government gun-smuggling investigation.
Ivie graduated in 2000 from Timpview High School in Provo, Utah, where he grew up and worked as an emergency medical technician before starting a job with the Border Patrol in January 2008, said his brother-in-law, Todd Davis.
He was the youngest of five children, and often went camping, hunting and fishing with his family, Davis said.
Ivie's desire to help others, and his love of the outdoors and riding horses led him to the law enforcement job, where he served on the horse patrol unit, Davis said.
"Nick always tried to help others, he was a very selfless man with his family, with his friends, in anything he did," Davis said. "You know the risk but you pray this day would never happen."
Ivie served a two-year mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico City after high school and met his wife in Spanish Fork, Utah, when he returned. The couple lived in Sierra Vista with their two young daughters in a newer subdivision.
Kevin Goats, president of the local LDS stake, visited the family and said Ivie's wife was comforted by their faith and a belief that she will be reunited with her husband in the next life. Ivie had helped lead church services on Sunday and was a proud American who was "absolutely committed" to his job as a Border Patrol agent, Goats said.
"There's just a great outpouring of love," he said.