The FBI has confirmed that a U.S. Forest Service officer allegedly shot and killed a Hutchinson man who was traveling through Arizona.
“A Forest Service Officer stopped to render assistance to a vehicular traffic accident,” Glenn Milnor, an FBI spokesman in Phoenix, said in an email statement.
Tyler Miller, 51, was on his way to a spiritual retreat in Arizona when he got in an accident, his family attorney said in a statement.
“According to the FBI, while driving on a curvy mountain road Ty apparently lost control of his pickup truck and went off the road where his vehicle hit a large rock,” family attorney Matt Bretz said. “It is unclear exactly what happened next, except to say that after Ty got out of his crashed vehicle a U.S. Forest Service officer shot Ty near the scene of the accident.”
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When the officer stopped to help Miller, an altercation occurred, Milnor said.
Sometime during the altercation, Miller was shot and injured. He was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Milnor said they are investigating an officer-involved shooting and assault as a result of the incident. The officer was hurt and treated on scene by emergency crews.
The shooting was first reported at about 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 5 on Arizona Highway 89A in Oak Creek Canyon, which is about 120 miles north of Phoenix.
Bretz said Miller was unarmed.
The officer’s name has not yet been released by the FBI because the officer has the right to not be identified as part of the federal Privacy Act, the Arizona Republic reported.
“This is not specific to federal officers involved in shootings, but to any individual that is subject of an investigation,” Milnor said in a statement to the Arizona Republic. “Privacy protections apply unless the individual waives his/her privacy or is deceased.”
The FBI was called to investigate because the shooting took place on federal land, Sedona Red Rock News reported.
Bretz said that Miller’s family is not prepared to make a statement.
“... they continue to reel from the shock of this incredible and unimaginable loss,” he said. “Ty was a much-loved husband and father and an important part of the Hutchinson community. He and his smile will be deeply missed.”
Miller is survived by his wife of 28 years, Darcy, and their four sons.
The FBI is still investigating, so Milnor said no other information will be released at this time.