sticky zone 56764
Sponsored by

Local

Gunman killed in Tucson Amtrak shootout IDed by Medical Examiner

DEA agent shot dead, 2 other law enforcement officers shot; 1 suspect arrested after gunfight on passenger train during drug bust

The man who police say started a gunfight during a drug bust aboard a passenger train in Tucson on Monday has been identified by the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office as Darrion Taylor.

Taylor, 26, died from "gunshot wounds of the trunk and extremities," said Dr. Gregory Hess, head of PCOME, in a news release Thursday morning. "The gunshot wounds were not self-inflicted."

Taylor's body was autopsied Monday, and released by the Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday.

A complete autopsy report will not be available for release until mid- to late November, officials said. Toxicology testing often takes weeks for laboratories to report.

Darrion J. Taylor, who has lived in the Chicago and Dallas areas according to online records, was one of the passengers on the east-bound Amtrak train which originated in Los Angeles. Authorities have not released information about where he boarded the train, nor where he was traveling.

The DEA agent who was shot and killed during the gunfight Monday morning in Downtown Tucson was identified earlier as Group Supervisor Michael G. Garbo, a Sahuarita resident and 16-year veteran of the agency.

Garbo's identity was confirmed Tuesday by DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags be flown at half-staff through sunset on Wednesday in memory of Garbo, and again on Friday from sunrise to sunset to mark his funeral.

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

Garbo was declared dead at the scene of the shooting aboard a train stopped at the Amtrak train station in Downtown Tucson. Two other law enforcement officers were wounded, and one suspect, now identified as Taylor, was killed during the incident. Another was arrested.

The identity of the arrested suspect, Devonte Okeith Mathis, was revealed in court documents. Federal criminal charges were filed against him Tuesday.

Court documents indicate that the officers boarded the train with a list of suspects, including Mathis and Taylor, and that the 22-year-old Mathis was carrying about 5 lbs. of marijuana and 50 packages of marijuana edibles. Information about why the two were included on the list of passengers to check has not been released by law enforcement.

Garbo joined the Drug Enforcement Administration 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," Milgram said in a statement.

"Garbo’s operational expertise, mentorship, and leadership were legendary in the Tucson community," Milgram said. "With unparalleled talent and courage, he carried out duties ranging from tactical instruction to serving as a member of the Phoenix Field Division Special Response Team. Across DEA, Group Supervisor Garbo was universally loved and respected for his leadership, and for his unrelenting passion to protect the safety of the American people. Above all else, he was a devoted and loving father and husband. DEA mourns the loss of our beloved colleague."

Garbo previously worked with the Metro Nashville Police Department in Tennessee.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus confirmed the deaths Monday afternoon, telling reporters that the DEA agent died at the scene. One other DEA agent who was shot was hospitalized in critical condition, and a Tucson police officer who was also shot was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Each of the wounded officers "suffered multiple gunshot wounds," Milgram said. One of the officers taken to the hospital was reportedly shot in the face, sources said.

DEA, Tucson police had list of suspects before boarding train

The shooting took place around 20 minutes after Amtrak's east-bound Sunset Limited 2 arrived in Tucson around 7:40 a.m. Magnus told reporters Monday afternoon that officers with the anti-drug task force routinely board trains and buses to search for narcotics.

Court documents indicate that the officers were specifically searching for the suspects on the train, following up on tips.

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

Officers with the regional Counter Narcotics Alliance task force boarded the train this morning, and "made contact" with two passengers who were on the second level of a double-decker train car, Magnus said.

According to court records, Garbo and the other officer boarded the train with a list of "several" people on the Sunset Limited, including Mathis and another man, identified only as D.T. in court records but now know to be Darrion Taylor.

Federal agents and Tucson police officers, including a DEA agent identified only as J.C., "observed" Taylor and Mathis on the train, sitting in the same row, but on opposite sides of the aisle, police said in court records.

J.C. saw Mathis retrive a blue colored backpack, a black drawstring bag, and a white plastic bag, and he moved these bags a few rows away and then returned to his seat, court records showed.

The official "approached" Mathis, and asked him if those were his bags, which Mathis denied. "J.C. stated that he knows disassociation with baggage to be a common trait of drug traffickers," according to court documents. Mathis denied the bags were his, and J.C. took the bags off the train, and found two packages of bulk marijuana.

The two DEA agents, including Garbo and another agent identified only as S.F., spoke to Taylor and had a drug dog sniff several bags on the station's platform.

At some point, Taylor got back onto the train. The agents boarded to find him, and as they approached him, he shot Garbo, killing him. He wounded J.C. the other special agent, "several times," according to court records.

During the incident, another officer, identified as D.H., was shot and injured as well.

While the DEA has identified Garbo, the agency has not identified the other agent, and Tucson Police have not identified the officer who was injured.

TPD officers arrived at the scene, and Taylor attempted to barricade himself in the train's bathroom after shooting at officers.

Taylor and the officers exchanged gunfire aboard the train car.

He was determined to be dead after Tucson's SWAT team boarded the train some time later.

According to PCOME's statement, Taylor died from gunshot wounds, and did not commit suicide.

Mathis carried 5 lbs of marijuana, 50 packages of edibles

A search warrant return indicates that Mathis was carrying about 5 pounds of marijuana, along with 50 packages of "Gooberz" marijuana edibles and other products.

Mathis was charged in federal court with possession and intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of a substance containing marijuana.

Magnus said Monday that several officers were conducting a "routine interdiction check.... checking for illegal guns, money, drugs" aboard the train. After the officers "made contact" with the pair on the second level, one of the suspects "produced a handgun and opened fire on the officers," he said.

In video captured from a streaming camera at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, next to the train station, around 8 a.m., there can be heard two quick shots, just before a law enforcement officer with a leashed dog who had been standing nearby quickly approached the train, entering a passenger car.

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.

While two people stood just outside the train waiting, someone yelled "get out of here, get out of here," and another gunshot could be heard.

The officer, dressed in plainclothes and wearing a police vest, retreated from the train with his dog in tow, and headed for cover. Someone leaned out of a the doorway of the train car that the officer had just left, and apparently fired several more shots from a handgun in the direction of the officer and his dog, including one that loudly ricocheted off metal.

The suspect, now identified as Taylor, who fired his pistol "barricaded himself in the bathroom" on the lower level of the train car, Magnus said. After some time, "it was determined that the suspect in the bathroom was in fact deceased."

The DEA special agent who was wounded was "taken by TPD officers in the back of a patrol car" to Banner University Medical Center. The injured TPD officer was taken to the hospital by EMS workers, Magnus said.

Garbo's body was transported from the scene Monday afternoon by staffers with the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office, accompanied by a motorcade of TPD officers, riding motorcycles with flashing lights.

Magnus tweeted later that the shooting was "horrific" and that he is "so proud of our @Tucson_Police officers whose heroic actions undoubtedly saved many lives."

They "literally ran toward the danger," he told reporters.

The police chief said MOnday there was "literally very limited information that I can share with you at this time," and that "I can't speak to anything that was found pertaining to" the suspect who was arrested.

The train was traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans and arrived at Tucson at 7:40 a.m. carrying 137 passengers and 11 crew members, said an Amtrak spokesman. He said that there are no reported injuries to passengers and crew onboard the train, and everyone had been evacuated.

"The shooting that took place this morning at our downtown train station was an absolutely shocking act of violence," said Mayor Regina Romero on Monday. "I ask all Tucsonans to join me in praying for the deceased DEA officer and for the swift recovery of the law enforcement officers who were injured. I am ordering flags at all city facilities to half staff to honor the courageous actions of the deceased and the injured."

"My deepest sympathies go out to our federal partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration, who work side by side with our TPD officers on a daily basis to keep our community safe," Romero said. "I want to thank the Tucson Police Department, including our SWAT team, who immediately responded and secured the scene."

"We at the DEA are heartbroken by today's events and ask that you keep the families of the agents and task force officer in your thoughts and prayers," DEA Administrator Milgram said Monday afternoon.

Thanks for reading TucsonSentinel.com. Tell your friends to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Counter Narcotics Alliance is a multi-agency task force, coordinated by the Tucson Police Department, that includes local, state and federal agencies, such as TPD, the Pima County Sheriff's Department, Marana Police Department, DEA, Border Patrol, BATF and others. The investigation of the incident is being led by the FBI.

- 30 -
have your say   

Comments

There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Read all of TucsonSentinel.com's
coronavirus reporting here »

Click image to enlarge

screenshot from Virtual Railfan streaming video

A police officer retreats from a gunman who fired several shots from an Amtrak train on Monday morning.

Youtube Video