On the evening of September 23, 2015, Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) assisted Michigan State Police (MSP) Troopers in searching for the subject of a missing person/suicidal person alert on Drummond Island, Michigan. While searching the island, they found a single-vehicle crash. The vehicle was not occupied, and its registered owner was the subject of the alert. BPAs and MSP Troopers continued to search the area until, eventually, MSP personnel discontinued their active search. BPAs continued to search for the subject at the request of MSP Troopers. Two BPAs located and approached a “hunting cabin” with apparent signs of forced entry, in an extremely remote and difficult-to-access area of the island. While walking the perimeter of the cabin, they observed an individual lying on the lower bunk on a set of bunkbeds inside the hunting cabin. The BPAs observed a long arm rifle lying on the bed next to the individual. With guns drawn, the BPAs identified themselves and advised the subject not to touch the weapon. The subject sat up, looked at the BPAs, and then immediately reached towards the rifle. The BPAs fired multiple rounds toward the threat. One BPA fired multiple rounds from a service rifle, and another agent fired from his service pistol. Neither BPA was physically injured by the gunfire. A perimeter was established and additional law enforcement resources responded to the area. MSP’s Emergency Services Team responded and assembled in the area. A dynamic entry was made to the cabin and the subject was found to be deceased.
Result of the NUFRB
On Sept. 24, 2016, the CBP NUFRB convened to review the facts as investigated. The NUFRB unanimously determined that the application of force by the two Border Patrol agents on Sept. 24, 2015 was in compliance with CBP’s Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident. Consistent with the mandate to review and report on potential improvements to policy and training, the NUFRB also made one operational observation that has been referred to appropriate officials within CBP for consideration.