KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal & Regional News


Friends memorialize fallen DEA Agent Mike Garbo

“Part of us died at the train station that day.”
Posted at 6:12 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 21:12:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Grief, and honor were on display in Tucson Friday as the law enforcement community, and Tucsonans remembered Drug Enforcement Agent Mike Garbo, killed in a shootout at Tucson’s Amtrak station Monday.

Officers and agents formed up for solemn honors as the hearse carrying Agent Mike Garbo arrived at Calvary Chapel.

Friends and co-workers spoke from their hearts about Garbo’s heart for law enforcement: the dedication that led him from police work in Nashville, to a career with the Drug Enforcement Administration, including volunteering for two years in Afghanistan fighting drug trafficking there.

The day he died, Agent Garbo was in a team effort with Tucson Police that brought them to an Amtrak train stopped in Tucson.

TPD Sergeant David Ortiz often worked with Garbo. He says, “Part of us died there at the train station that day. We all knew that outlaws use the train. And that regardless of what many may think about guns, money and drugs. Mike said amongst these outlaws, are unidentified murderers, bank robbers, violent gang members that needed to be stopped. Mike would say, ‘Press forward brothers disrupt their business.’”

Several speakers said Garbo’s skill saved the other officers and the train passengers that day.

Now, Lieutenant Colonel Ken Hunter is deputy director of Arizona DPS. Years ago he was Mike Garbo’s neighbor. He says with one look he knew MIke Garbo was a cop. Soon he learned Agent Garbo was a model for skill, bravery and dedication who taught him lessons he remembers years later.

“There's always more effort to give. If you think you've worked out hard enough in the gym, there's more effort to give. If you think you're a good parent, or a good spouse, there's more parenting to do and there's more love to give. If you think you have sharpened the skills of your profession, you have more to learn.”

As the service ended friends brought Mike Garbo’s casket outside to the sound of the bagpipes steeped in warrior and police tradition.

As the service ended there were more honors, including a rifle salute. Tradition says that is the signal survivors are ready to return to the fight.