Sponsored by


DEA agent killed in gunfight at Tucson Amtrak station

2 other law enforcement officers shot; 1 suspect dead, 1 arrested after shoot-out on passenger train

A DEA agent was shot and killed during a gunfight Monday morning at the Amtrak train station in Downtown Tucson. Two other law enforcement officers were wounded, and one suspect died during the incident aboard a passenger train.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus confirmed the deaths Monday afternoon, telling reporters that the Drug Enforcement Administration 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.

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.

At least one of those passengers shot at the officers, authorities said.

One suspect was arrested in the incident. The other attempted to barricade himself in the train's bathroom after shooting at officers, and was later found dead.

One of the officers taken to the hospital was reportedly shot in the face, sources said.

The identities of the law enforcement officers — including the dead and wounded DEA special agents and wounded TPD officer — and suspects involved in the shooting have not been released by authorities.

Tucson City Council offices were instructed to immediately lower their flags to half-staff Monday morning.

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Kathleen Riley, John OHare, and Ann Samuelson and contribute today!

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.

He said 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.

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 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.

The dead DEA special agent'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.

TucsonSentinel.com relies on contributions from our readers to support our reporting on Tucson's civic affairs. Donate to TucsonSentinel.com today!
If you're already supporting us, please encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues and customers to help support quality local independent journalism.

The police chief said 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 member, said an Amtrak spokesman. He said that there are no reported injuries to passengers and crew onboard the train, and everyone had been evacuated.

Police closed streets in much of the north edge of Downtown on Monday morning, with officers telling people to avoid North Toole Avenue between 4th and 6th avenues because TPD along with other law enforcement were "working a very active scene."

"The shooting that took place this morning at our downtown train station was an absolutely shocking act of violence," said Mayor Regina Romero. "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 Anne Milgram said Monday afternoon.

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.

Check back for updates.

- 30 -
have your say   


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