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  5. May 17, 2017 – Use of Force Incident near Tombstone, Arizona

May 17, 2017 – Use of Force Incident near Tombstone, Arizona

On the afternoon of May 17, 2017, Border Patrol Agents from the Willcox Border Patrol Station were assigned to the Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 80, near Tombstone, Arizona. At the time of the incident, the checkpoint was closed due to high winds.

At approximately 3:38 p.m., agents heard a motorist run over the orange cones and barriers blocking the entrance to the checkpoint. The subject’s truck then came to a stop approximately 3 to 5 feet from an agent. The subject drew a firearm and fired on that agent and another agent nearby. The first agent, and another who was initially in the checkpoint’s office, both returned fire and the subject was taken into custody with a gunshot wound to his left shoulder.

It was later determined that the subject had left his residence that day with two handguns, stating “I’ll do suicide by cop.” Local police had been notified, but only limited information had been provided to the agents in the area. Authorities were told to keep an eye out for a truck and an elderly man.

Result of the NUFRB

The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the applications of force were in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.

NUFRB Recommendations

Consistent with the mandate to review and report, the NUFRB made a formal recommendation on potential improvements to policy and training following their consideration of this incident.

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Last Modified: December 10, 2021