Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie shot in head, according to autopsy report

TUCSON, AZ - Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the  Pima County autopsy report released Wednesday.

The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy recovered a copper jacketed projectile from Ivie's brainstem.

"The wound course involves the scalp, the frontal bone leaving an approximately 1.5 x 1.0 cm entrance wound, the medial sides of the right and left frontal lobes of the brain, the brainstem and the cerebellum," according to the report.

A second bullet fragment fractured Ivie's first cervical vertebra.

Last week, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office released a section of its investigative report, documenting the events that occurred prior to Ivie's death.

The report indicated Ivie had been using his radio to communicate with other agents prior to the October shooting that took his life near the US-Mexico border.

According to a supplemental narrative, the uninjured Border Patrol agent at the shooting scene told investigators that she and another agent "were in radio communication with Agent Ivie…(and) at one point she observed (Ivie) signaling them with his flashlight."

The uninjured agent, whose name was redacted from the report, indicated she had been responding to a sensor hit in the desert at the time of the shooting.

"She responded to the area and met with another agent….Each of them arrived in there(sic) own vehicle," the report indicated.  "They parked at the ‘Dead Trail' and proceeded on foot."

The agent reported that she had not worked in the area prior to the evening of the shooting.  She said she knew Ivie was also responding to the sensor hit, but he was coming from the north while she was arriving at the scene from the south.

According to the report, the uninjured agent told investigators she noticed muzzle flashes followed by gunfire in front of her as she was walking up a desert trail.

"She drew her weapon and took cover," the report said.  She did not recall whether she fired her own weapon.

"She thought she observed 3 to 4 people moving in the area but she could not describe them.  She also mentioned hearing whispering.  She could not say if it was in English or Spanish," the report said.

The agent also told investigators that she never saw Ivie before or after the shooting. 

Read more about Agent Ivie.

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