The veteran DEA agent who was killed on Monday on an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona, lost his life over five pounds of marijuana that he was trying to seize from suspected drug traffickers.
DEA Group Supervisor Michael Garbo was a revered leader whose career spanned almost two decades, the federal agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
Garbo was shot dead when a passenger, who also died, opened fire as officers were doing a routine inspection for illegal guns, money and drugs on the train headed to New Orleans from Los Angeles. A second federal agent and a Tucson police officer were wounded.
Suspect Devonte Mathis was arrested at the scene, while another who barricaded himself inside the bathroom of the double-decker train was shot dead while exchanging gunfire with police.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at state buildings remain at half-staff until sunset Wednesday in Garbo's honor.
DEA agent Michael 'Mike' Garbo (left) was shot dead on an Amtrak train in Tucson on Monday. Suspected marijuana trafficker Devonte Mathis (right) was arrested on federal charges
DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement that Garbo 'possessed expertise and a manner that 'were legendary,'
Garbo was loved and respected throughout the agency 'for his leadership and for his unrelenting passion to protect the safety of the American people,' she said. 'Above all else, he was a devoted and loving father and husband.'
Garbo joined the DEA in 2005. As a special agent and supervisor, he pursued criminal drug traffickers at the U.S.-Mexico border and in Afghanistan.
'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,' Milgram stated. '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.'
Dozens of officers on motorcycles and in police vehicles, lights flashing, escorted the body of DEA Special Agent Michael Garbo killed Monday morning on an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona
Solemn members of local emergency services saluted the police convoy escorting the fallen DEA agent to the medical examiner's office
Tucson Police officers and other law enforcement officers stand at attention as the body of a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent is removed from an Amtrak train and loaded into a van from the Pima County Medical Examiner following a shooting
The shooting happened after 8am after the train, traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans, pulled into the station in Tucson. Pictured are two officers embracing near the scene of the shooting
Steve Antle, who described himself as a former colleague of Garbo's, revealed in a Facebook post that the DEA agent previously served as a police officer with the Metro Nashville Police Department.
'Mike Garbo was a good friend, a very nice guy, and an excellent police officer,' Antle wrote. 'His career was on a fast track and he was an exceptional Agent. His loss is not only one for the MNPD and DEA family, but for our Nation...He died protecting us from the flow of illegal drugs coming into the US. In my book, he is a hero.'
According to another friend and former colleague, Melvin Brown, Garbo was a SWAT team member in 1998 when he helped neutralize an armed bank robber during a gun battle, earning him a medal.
Garbo was killed Monday after gunfire erupted while a regional task force of DEA agents and Tucson police officers were doing an inspection of passengers´ luggage for illegal money, weapons or drugs.
Garbo began his career in law enforcement as a police officer in Nashville before being hired by the DEA in 2005
The inspection was prompted by tips from Amtrak, according to a federal criminal complaint released Tuesday that revealed more details about the events leading to the shooting.
A second agent and a Tucson