Screenshot from Virtual Railfan streaming video of a police officer retreating from the gunman who shot several officers on Monday morning in downtown Tucson. 

A DEA agent shot and killed in a gunfight Monday in downtown Tucson’s Amtrak station has been identified as Michael G. Garbo of Sahuarita. He had been with the agency 16 years.

Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram confirmed Garbo’s identity Tuesday.

Two other officers were wounded, one suspect died and another was arrested during the incident.

Garbo was shot about 8 a.m. as officers with an anti-drug task force boarded Amtrak’s east-bound Sunset Limited 2, which came into the station around 7:40 a.m.

Court documents show the agents were looking for specific suspects on the train associated with narcotics.

According to the documents, Garbo and another officer boarded with a list of suspects including Devonte Okeith Mathis, the suspect who was arrested and later identified in court documents.

Officers from several agencies observed Mathis and another suspect identified as D.T. on the train. One of the DEA agents, identified as J.C., witnessed Mathis move a blue backpack, black drawstring bag and a white plastic bag a few rows away before returning to his seat.

When asked if the bags were his, Mathis denied it and J.C. removed the bags from the train. The bags contained two packages of bulk quantities of marijuana.

The search warrant return indicates Mathis had about five pounds of marijuana and 50 packages of marijuana products.

Officers spoke to suspect D.T. and a drug-sniffing dog checked other bags on the station platform before D.T. reboarded the train. When agents boarded again to find him, he shot and killed Garbo, wounded agent J.C. and shot and wounded another officer.

D.T. tried to barricade himself in the bathroom when the Tucson Police Department arrived on scene. The SWAT team determined he was dead.

The wounded DEA agent was taken to Banner University Medical Center and the injured TPD officer was also taken to a hospital.

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

The train traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans had 11 crew members and 137 passengers. None were injured.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags to be flown at half staff in honor of Garbo until sunset Wednesday. The FBI is leading the investigation of the incident.

Garbo joined the DEA in 2005 and worked as a special agent and group supervisor.

In a statement, Milgram said his leadership was “legendary in the Tucson community.”

“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.”

Includes information from TucsonSentinel.com.


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.