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Border agent's body arrives in Utah, family offers forgiveness

By Nkoyo Iyamba and Andrew Adams | Posted - Oct. 10, 2012 at 7:27 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a border agent from Utah killed by friendly fire in Arizona is reaching out to the fellow agents who accidentally shot him.

During a memorial service in Sierra Vista, Ariz., Nicolas Ivie's family and friends invited the agent who shot and killed him to sit and mourn with them. At the packed meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fellow border agents wept with Ivie's family.

Last Tuesday, Ivie, 30, and two other U.S. Border Patrol agents responded to a tripped motion sensor on the Arizona-Mexico border. Investigators say Ivie thought his co-workers were armed smugglers and fired at them. The other agents returned fire and killed Ivie in what the FBI calls a friendly fire shooting.

Family spokesman Kevin Goates says Ivie's wife, Christy, reached out to show love and support to both of the agents who shot at Ivie.

"To see Christy hug this man and whisper words of comfort to him was just an incredible example of her setting aside her pain and grief," Goates said.

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Ivie's body arrived at Salt Lake City International Airport Tuesday night. A procession of nearly a dozen motorcycle officers and 30 squad cars escorted the casket along I-15 to Utah County.

The body was taken to Spanish Fork's Walker Mortuary. A funeral will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University in Orem. It is open to the public. Ivie will be buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery.

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Nkoyo Iyamba
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