Drugs Found Before DEA Agent Was Killed on Train

Gunman also was killed in the gunfire, Tucson police say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2021 7:25 PM CDT
Updated Oct 6, 2021 3:20 PM CDT
Shootout on Train Kills DEA Agent
Officers embrace Monday near the scene of a shooting aboard an Amtrak train in Tucson, Ariz.   (Evan Courtney via AP)

Update: In advance of the deadly shooting Monday on an Amtrak train in Arizona, DEA agents searched bags associated with one passenger and found 2.39 kilograms of marijuana, 50 packages of marijuana edibles and "other marijuana and cannabis products," per the court documents. CNN reports they allegedly belonged to Devonte Okeith Mathis, who was traveling with a passenger identified as DT. After the bags were searched, agents attempted to talk to DT, and the a shooting ensued. DEA Special Agent Group Supervisor Michael Garbo was killed, as was DT; Mathis was arrested. Our original story from Monday follows below:

A Drug Enforcement Administration special agent was killed Monday when a passenger opened fire as officers were doing a routine inspection for illegal contraband on an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona, authorities said. A second agent and a Tucson police officer were wounded. The passenger was killed, the AP reports. "It's very horrific and we’re all just coming to terms with just how terrible a loss this is," Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said. "But I also want to reflect on the really heroic actions of the officers at the scene. They literally ran towards the danger, into the car, where there was an active shooting situation going on."

Magnus spoke outside the hospital where the agent and Tucson officer had been taken. The agent was listed in critical condition while the officer was stable. He said authorities would not be releasing their names. The FBI has taken over the investigation of the shooting, which sent passengers fleeing. It happened just after 8am on a train stopped at the station in the city's downtown. A regional task force of DEA agents and Tucson police officers had boarded one of the cars to do a typical check for illegal money, weapons, and drugs. It's a common occurrence at all transit hubs, Magnus said.

story continues below

Officers were detaining a man on the upper level of the double-decker car when a second man pulled out a handgun and began firing, authorities said. He exchanged several rounds with police, then barricaded himself in a bathroom on the lower level, Magnus said. He was later found dead inside. The other suspect was arrested. It wasn't immediately known what charges he faces or his relationship to the second man. There were about a dozen other passengers in the car where the shooting occurred. "I just think it's kind of incredible here there weren't other people who were hurt," Magnus said. The Sunset Limited, Train 2, was traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans with 137 passengers and 11 crew members, he said. (More shootout stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.