On March 20, 2017, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (Minnesota) received a 911 call from a rural U.S. mail carrier. The mail carrier reported that his vehicle had been shot at as he passed by a residence near Warren, Minnesota. As the responding deputy pulled into the driveway of the residence, a man in the driveway raised and pointed a rifle at the deputy’s patrol vehicle. The deputy immediately backed out of the driveway and radioed for assistance.
Authorities from multiple jurisdictions responded, including a task force based out of East Grand Forks, Minnesota. A Border Patrol Agent was one of the task force members who responded to the scene.
While positioned on the road in front of the residence, the deputy observed the subject lay his rifle across the hood of his pickup truck and sight in on the deputy. The subject then began shooting at the deputy. The deputy called out “shots fired” over the radio.
The agent heard the “shots fired” call over his radio and moved to a tactical position to assist. Through the scope of his CBP-issued M4 rifle, the agent saw the subject lying across the hood of his pickup truck, looking in the direction of the deputy. Initially, the agent could not see if the subject was armed, but he later observed the subject make his way back to the hood of the truck and point his rifle in the direction of the deputy.
Believing that the subject was attempting to kill the deputy, the agent fired a round from his rifle at the subject, who made no movement or indication he had been hit, so the agent assumed that he had missed. The agent fired a second round, at which time the subject turned around and looked in the agent’s direction.
The subject then began moving toward the house while carrying the rifle. The agent fired several additional rounds toward the subject who then turned and pointed his rifle directly at the agent and fired. The agent then moved to a position of cover in a ditch on the north side of the road and lost sight of the subject. No additional shots were fired by the agent or the subject.
The subject was later discovered lying in his driveway by members of the Grand Forks, North Dakota, Regional SWAT Team as they approached the residence. The subject had died from his injuries.
Result of the NUFRB
The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the application of force was in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.
The NUFRB made no formal recommendations on potential improvements to policy and training following their consideration of this incident.