On May 18, at approximately 9:04 p.m., the US Border Patrol Tucson Sector Tactical Operations Center advised the Ajo Border Patrol Station that the Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department was requesting assistance from Border Patrol agents to respond to a shots fired call west of the Menagers Dam Village. The police department requested agents meet at the local recreation center prior to responding to the location. The Ajo Border Patrol Station transmitted a request over service radio for any available units to respond at approximately 9:06 p.m. Several agents responded acknowledging the request for assistance at approximately 9:07 p.m. An agent transmitted over service radio that agents were responding with the police department at approximately 9:21 p.m.
Agents transmitted over service radio they had arrived at the recreation center with the police department at approximately 9:27 p.m. Agents coordinated with the police department officer at the recreation center and were provided additional information at approximately 9:31 p.m. The officer advised agents that initial reports indicated shots had been fired in the vicinity of a named individual’s residence west of their location.
The officer requested agents follow him to the location at approximately 9:32 p.m. Agents followed behind the officer in their government vehicles for approximately two minutes and seventeen seconds.
The officer and agents arrived and parked their vehicles near the individual’s residence at approximately 9:35 p.m. Responding agents and the police officer spread out while searching for the man.
Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility special agents reviewed video footage of the event. The officer and agents encountered an individual approximately 103 meters northwest of their parked vehicles, outside of a residence, at approximately 9:39 p.m. The individual threw an object toward the officer as they approached the structure which landed a few feet from the officer’s feet. Shortly after the individual threw the object, he abruptly extended his right arm away from his body and three agents fired their service weapons striking the individual several times. The individual fell to the ground, and the officer and agents slowly approached the man.
Agents broadcasted over service radio that shots had been fired at approximately 9:40 p.m. Agents continued to approach the individual and secured him. Agents checked for a pulse, began medically assessing the man’s condition and requested emergency medical services at approximately 9:41 p.m.
Agents began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation at approximately 9:45 p.m. after they were unable to detect a pulse from the individual. Agents requested air life medical evacuation for the man at approximately 9:46 p.m. Agents were advised there was no air life evacuation available due to inclement weather at approximately 9:48 p.m. Agents continued CPR until a Border Patrol emergency medical technician on scene telephonically contacted a physician at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. An agent transmitted over the service radio that the individual had no pulse at approximately 9:52 p.m. and agents continued to administer CPR.
The physician at St. Mary’s Hospital pronounced the man deceased at 10:06 p.m. The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office assumed custody of the man’s remains pending an autopsy.
The decedent was identified as an adult male citizen of the United States. The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on May 19 and further information on the cause and manner of death will be released by that office at the conclusion of their review.
The agents involved in the incident are on administrative leave, pursuant to standard practice at this point in an investigation following a use of deadly force. All three agents who discharged their weapons and seven additional agents activated their body worn cameras during the incident. CBP is committed to expeditious release of the body worn camera footage of this incident as soon as is appropriate to do so without impacting the ongoing law enforcement investigation, in line with the May 25th, 2022, Executive Order on Advancing Effective Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is under review by CBP’s OPR. This incident will be reviewed by CBP’s National Use of Force Review Board at the conclusion of the investigation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General was also notified of the incident.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.