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Tohono O’odham family sues over killing by Border Patrol

Ray Mattia killed in incident in remote village
Posted at 6:28 PM, May 17, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A Tohono O’odham family says Border Patrol should not have shot and killed one of their own. Now they are suing in Federal Court.

Raymond Mattia’s family say he was a respected part of his community in the Tohono O’odham nation and the remote village of Menager’s Dam where he lived.

They say last year, on May 18, Mattia called law enforcement because of intruders on his land.

He stepped out of his house and found Border Patrol Agents pointing their guns at him.

He had a large knife, but threw it on the ground, still in its sheath.

Edited video from Border Patrol shows what happened in the next few seconds.

“Put your hands up.” “Put it down, put it down” Get on your (OBSCENITY DELETED) face! Put your hands out of your (OBSCENITY DELETED) pocket! “ (MULTIPLE GUNSHOTS) “Cease fire.”

The family has been demanding accountability for the death of Ray Mattia for many months. In an earlier interview his sister Annette said she was on the phone with him. Moments after she ended the call, she heard the shots.

“I was in shock. I was like, Who are they shooting at? What happened? What's going on? You know, I thought they were shooting at someone else. I didn't think it would be Ray.”

Federal prosecutors reviewed the shooting and decided not to file any criminal charges.Now the Mattia family is filing a civil lawsuit claiming excessive force and wrongful death.

CBP says it is committed to accountability in use of force incidents. We have been told on background Raymond Mattia’s shooting will continue under administrative review.