PHOENIX, ARIZONA (ABC 4 News) – The family of a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed along the Mexico/Arizona border spoke publically for the first time Thursday.
"Nick was a loving husband, a father and a friend to everybody,” said Chris Ivie, Nick’s older brother.
The youngest of five and Provo native grew up loving Utah's outdoors and it showed in his job. “He loved riding horses, he kind of grew up on them and that transferred into his line of work,” said Chris.
Agent Ivie and two other agents were fired upon Tuesday about five miles north of the border as they responded to an alarm triggered by a border sensor. The wounded agent was released from the hosptail after undergoing surgery. The third agent wasn’t injured.
Ivie was a nine-year veteran border patrol agent. His work began with a passion to help others. “He lived his life as an act of service,” said Rick Ivie, Nick’s older brother.
It started at 19, when Ivie served a two-year LDS mission in Mexico City where he learned Spanish and developed a love for the Mexican people—a love that carried over into his work along the border. His brother says one time on patrol Nick came across a pregnant woman with rags for shoes. "She was in a remote area and couldn't make it any further and he carried her for a mile and a half to where she could received the proper help,” said Chris. “He really did love the people he worked with and he was a hero."
“There's not a bad bone in his body,” said Rick. “I honestly believe he befriended many of those people that he was serving.”
Agent Ivie shared his profession with his brother Joel. Nick's death now serves as a reminder of the dangers the brothers face.
"The thought is always in the back of your head,” said Chris. “We've all thought about it, but it happens so rarely we thought it's never happen to us."
Now the family copes with a new reality. Nick’s wife, Christy, now a widow, his two little girls now without a dad.
"Nick loved his kids and it's difficult when they ask for their dad,” said Chris.
A fund has been set up to help Nick’s widow pay for funeral costs. Donations can be made at any Zions Bank branch.