Tucson Border Patrol Agent and Navy Veteran Killed in the Line of Duty Interred at Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Ceremony

Dozens of law enforcement agencies across Arizona attended interement for Border Patrol Agent and Navy Veteran Freddy Ortiz
December 1, 2023

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - Hundreds of military and law enforcement personnel from across Arizona gathered last week at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery (SAVMC) to say goodbye to fallen Border Patrol Agent Freddy Ortiz.

The Navy Veteran and active duty Navy Reservist was laid to rest at SAVMC. To honor his decorated career in the Navy and in the Border Patrol, an Honor Ceremony was held as a final goodbye for Ortiz.

“As a retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer and someone who worked at the very same Border Patrol station as Freddy Ortiz, it was a very amazing display honor from the US Border Patrol community,” said SAVMC Administrator Joe Larson. “This was the ultimate patriotic salute that one could receive.”

Ortiz was killed in the line of duty on November 14 in Douglas. He was riding an ATV on International Avenue in response to a call about suspected undocumented immigrants when his ATV left the roadway and hit a fixed light pole, officials said.

Other agents found Ortiz and were able to get him to Copper Queen Community Hospital in Douglas but he died as a result of his injuries.

Ortiz was a SGT2 in the U.S. Navy Veteran and an active Navy Reserve in Tucson for more than 20 years, starting his military service right after graduating high school in 1997.

During his military career, Ortiz was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Ribbon, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and two awards of the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

It was 2010 when Ortiz decided to join the United States Border Patrol and was assigned to the Douglas Border Patrol Station. Two years later, Ortiz was recalled to active-duty service with the Navy for a year in support of Operation New Dawn.

 “He’s in the place he loved,” Reverend Fr. Robert Neske said at the Honor Ceremony. He loved serving here, he loved these mountains and I hope you know he is never far from you.”

Ortiz received the full honors complete with the playing of Taps, a 21-gun salute and flyover by a trio of helicopters. Yellow flowers adorned Ortiz’s casket as the Border Patrol Honor Guard stood watch over Ortiz.