A fatal shooting occurred on an Amtrak train at a Tucson, Arizona train station on Monday morning, October 5, following a search for cannabis by law enforcement officers. According to court reports, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Michael Garbo and a suspect identified as D.T. parished. Two other agents sustained injuries from the shooting.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case in Arizona district court the following day, the agents boarded the train after it arrived at the station to search for drug contraband, cash, and weapons. The train originally left from New Orleans and was bound for Los Angeles, arriving in Tucson at 7:40 A.M. DEA agents and other officers with the Pima County Counter Narcotics Alliance were investigating intel from Amtrak about a list of individuals traveling frequently from Los Angeles to Texas.
Agents surveyed the two men on the list, D.T. and Devonte Okeith Mathis, sitting by each other on the train. They observed as Mathis transported multiple bags approximately three or four rows away from where they were seated before returning to his seat, per the criminal complaint. When officers asked Mathis if the bags were his, he declined ownership, and the agents removed the bags from the Amtrak. Upon opening the bags, agents found two packages of cannabis, including over five pounds of marijuana flower, 50 packs of cannabis edibles, and a medley of other marijuana items.
As reported by azcentral, agents reboarded the train and attempted to detain Mathis on the upper deck on the double-decker train, during which D.T. pulled a firearm out and began shooting, striking multiple DEA agents. The shooter then ran downstairs and barricaded himself in the bathroom. The suspect was later found deceased in the lavatory. The Tuscon Police Department has told the Arizona Republic that the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) took over the investigation into the shooting
Brooke Brennan, the spokesperson for the agency, revealed that the FBI is processing the shooting scene with the assistance of the Tuscon police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The DEA administrator, Anne Milgram, gave a heartfelt update about agent Garbo, saying, “The DEA is deeply saddened to report that DEA Group Supervisor Michael G. Garbo died as a result of injuries sustained during the shooting.” She continued, “Group Supervisor Garbo joined DEA in 2005 and served honorably for more than 16 years as a Special Agent and Group Supervisor combating criminal drug traffickers from the Nogales corridor to Kabul, Afghanistan.”
According to CNN, over 100 passengers and 11 crew members were aboard the Amtrak at the time of the shooting. No injuries were reported among passengers and crew, as reported by Jason Abrams, Amtrak’s spokesperson, and they were all safely evacuated out of the train. Per High Times, “Mathis is accused of possessing with the intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing marijuana.” Horrific situations such as crimes like these show a broader perspective on what actions should go into effect in marijuana legalization.