DEA agent killed in Tucson shootout from Grayville, Illinois

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:26 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - We’re learning more about DEA special agent Mike Garbo, who was killed Monday in a shootout in Tucson.

Authorities said Garbo and other members of a task force were doing a routine check of an Amtrak train when Darrion Taylor opened fire. Garbo was killed, another DEA agent was critically hurt and a Tucson Police Department officer was injured.

Taylor died at the scene and a second suspect, Devonte Mathis, is facing a marijuana possession charge.

According to KOLD sister station WFIE, Garbo was born in Grayville, Illinois.

Officials with Mount Carmel Police Department said Garbo had served with the DEA since 2005. Before that, he was with the Nashville Metro Police Department.

Jody Hanisch, a former classmate of Garbo’s, told WFIE she took piano lessons from Garbo’s late mother Carol who died in March 2021. Garbo’s father Larry passed away in June 2021.

Hanisch said the whole city of Grayville is mourning.

“We’re so honored by Mike, and I’m so proud of him and everything he’s accomplished in his life. In high school, he was like that too, he was very motivated and driven,” Hanisch said. “A very kind and beautiful person.”

Officials said he was a supervisor who worked for the DEA for more than 16 years, facing drug traffickers across the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Back at home, Grayville is hurting.

“Everyone just cares,” Hanisch said. “Even if you leave Grayville, and you’re gone for a while and you come back, you’re still part of that family and you’re still part of that town.”

In that town, Hanisch said they rally together to celebrate, and they rally together to mourn.

“So when you see people posting all of this on Facebook, talking or messaging and reaching out to each other, it’s not a shock or surprise because growing up in Grayville in that small town, you became a family,” she said.

Hanisch has fond memories of growing up with Garbo.

“It just brings a smile to my face because he had so many people that just really liked him,” Hanisch said. “He was just such a respectful, honorable, wonderful person.”

Grayville’s police chief Bobby Hatcher told WFIE he and Garbo were good friends and that he was the type of officer you always wanted around.

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