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“He was the entire package.” Friend remembers fallen DEA Agent

Agent Mike Garbo killed Monday
Posted: 7:59 PM, Oct 07, 2021
Updated: 2021-10-08 11:45:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Friday’s funeral for DEA Agent Mike Garbo will be a show of grief -- and solidarity for a law enforcement community. KGUN9 has more on the tradition, and a remembrance from a man who knew Michael Garbo as his law enforcement career began.

When a brother or sister officer is killed, law enforcement officers turn out in force---from large motorcycle escorts for the hearse, to honor guards at the ceremonies. You can see that in images from the observances for Deputy United States Marshal Chase White, shot and killed in November 2018 as he and other Marshals worked to arrest a man already accused of threatening police.

Local law enforcement has been preparing for the ceremony at Calvary Chapel for Drug Enforcement Agent Mike Garbo. He died in a gunfight onboard an Amtrak train stopped in Tucson Monday. Court records say the shooting broke out after DEA agents and Tucson Police say they found more than four pounds of marijuana in two passengers’ luggage.

Local departments, departments from around the state and around the country will send representatives to Agent Garbo’s funeral. A group from Nashville Tennessee’s police department is expected. That’s the department where Michael Garbo’s law enforcement career began, and where now-retired officer Steven Antle says he worked with Mike Garbo for 12 years.

“He was the entire package when it came to law enforcement, he had the brains. He had the heart for it and he also had the physical abilities to do it. He was an excellent marksman. He was in very good physical shape, much better than I've ever been in my life.”

Antle says Garbo volunteered for the tough assignments, in high crime areas and with Nashville’s SWAT team.

“The thing that sticks out in my mind about his work was that he was always calm, cool and collected. I can never remember a time when he was upset, or scared or, you know, angry, he always was professional at all times.”

Antle says he’s not surprised Mike Garbo would go to an active drug smuggling area like Arizona, or that he’d continue to lead arrest teams even after he was promoted to supervisor.

“I think that everybody that knows him would be despite the sadness that we have that we lost him would be proud that he served his country and his community right up to the end.”