On his way home from work on May 5, 2020, an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent was alerted by local police that they had been searching for an armed suspect in his neighborhood earlier that day. Later that evening the agent was at his residence when a neighbor knocked on his front door. The neighbor said that he had seen the suspect in his backyard and believed that the suspect was heading toward the agent’s backyard.
The agent retrieved his duty weapon and a flashlight while instructing his wife and kids to stay inside and to call 911. After checking his own yard, the agent stood on his woodpile near a cinderblock wall to look into the backyard next-door.
As he did this the agent noticed a man crouched down in the corner of the neighbor’s yard. The agent told the man not to move, but he instead stood up, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a handgun. The agent then dropped down behind his wall and backed up a few feet with his own weapon drawn.
The agent stated he then saw the man lean over the top of the wall with the handgun in his left hand. The man pointed the gun at the agent as the agent told him to drop the gun. The agent then fired three rounds from his CBP-issued handgun, hitting the man once in the left hand. The shooting was witnessed by the agent’s wife, who was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher at the time.
The man then dropped the gun in the agent’s backyard and retreated into the neighbor’s yard. The agent climbed back onto the woodpile and continued giving the man commands to stop and to get on the ground. The man climbed over the back wall of the yard and fled across the street and into the neighborhood instead.
The agent pursued for approximately 2-3 blocks, before catching up to him in the backyard area of a nearby model home. The agent and a passing citizen detained the man, before flagging down Maricopa police officers who took the subject into custody after a brief physical struggle. The man’s gun was recovered by local police.
Result of the NUFRB
On Jan. 12, 2022, the CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) convened to review this use of force incident. The NUFRB determined that the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun was in compliance with CBP use of force policy in effect at the time of the incident.
The NUFRB made no formal recommendations following their consideration of this incident.