Agents will not face charges in fatal shooting of Tohono O’odham man
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Border Patrol agents who fatally shot a Tohono O’odham man earlier this year will not face charges.
The Tohono O’odham National confirmed the news Friday, Oct. 13, when leaders released a statement about the decision.
“The facts speak for themselves, and they do not support the U.S. Attorney’s decision – Mr. Mattia was an unarmed man in his own front yard,” the Tohono O’odham Nation said in a release. “Multiple agents made the decision to fire dozens of shots at short range at this unarmed man, hitting Raymond Mattia multiple times, and ultimately killing him. All of this was captured on agents’ video cameras and is not in question.”
Raymond Mattia, 58, was shot at least nine times, according to the autopsy report.
The toxicology report showed Mattia had a blood alcohol content of .185. He also had meth and oxycodone in his system.
The shooting happened near Lukeville on Thursday, May 18.
The Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department, which had one officer in the area, requested help from Border Patrol to respond to the call.
According to CBP, agents and the officer found Mattia outside a home. CBP said Mattia threw something toward the officer, which turned out to be a machete in a sheath.
CBP said Mattia then put his hand in a pocket before he “abruptly extended his right arm away from his body.”
Agents ordered Mattia to take his hands out of his pocket before three of them fired at least 30 shots. Video of the shooting is below.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
The CBP said a cell phone and cell phone case were found on the ground near Mattia but still has not said if a firearm was ever recovered.
Agents began CPR on Mattia and called for medical help but could not detect a pulse.
CBP said medical helicopters were grounded due to severe weather in the area so an “emergency medical technician on scene telephonically contacted a physician at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson.”
Mattia still did not have a pulse so the doctor pronounced him dead.
You can read the entire release by the Tohono O’odham Nation below:
Be sure to subscribe to the 13 News YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/@13newskold
TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION EXECUTIVE OFFICE STATEMENT ON U.S. ATTORNEY DECISION NOT TO PROSECUTE IN RAYMOND MATTIA SHOOTING CASE
SELLS, Ariz. – The U.S. Attorney’s decision to not press charges against U.S. Border Patrol agents in the tragic shooting death of Tohono O’odham member Raymond Mattia is a travesty of justice.
The facts speak for themselves, and they do not support the U.S. Attorney’s decision – Mr. Mattia was an unarmed man in his own front yard. Multiple agents made the decision to fire dozens of shots at short range at this unarmed man, hitting Raymond Mattia multiple times, and ultimately killing him. All of this was captured on agents’ video cameras and is not in question.
Where in America is a decision in defiance of such overwhelming evidence acceptable? Where in America is it okay for law enforcement officials, or anyone else, to take an unarmed man’s life? We assume there is additional evidence beyond what is already in the public domain. At the very least there needs to be a trial so that the facts can be ascertained, and justice accomplished.
There are countless questions left unanswered by this decision. As a result, we cannot and will not accept the U.S. Attorney’s decision. On the contrary, we stand by the Mattia family, and all O’odham citizens in seeking justice. Members of the Tohono O’odham Nation should not have to worry that their lives could be randomly cut short by federal agents acting on Tohono O’odham sovereign land. In Mr. Mattia’s case, he was not only on O’odham land, but at his own home, and defenseless.
The Nation’s Executive Office will explore other opportunities to rectify this misguided decision, which may include requesting Congressional inquiries. We also stand by other legal and administrative efforts to obtain justice for wrongly taking Raymond’s life.
For too long, the U.S. government’s refusal to enact sensible border solutions has brought undue hardship to O’odham and other border communities. While politicians waste time debating walls and other ineffective and divisive ideas, our people are persecuted and, in this case, killed by federal agents. This must stop.
Verlon M. Jose
Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation
Carla L. Johnson
Vice Chairwoman, Tohono O’odham Nation
Copyright 2023 13 News. All rights reserved.