Early April 2023

On April 2nd, 2023, Customs and Border Patrol Agents (CBP) fatally shot Joel Inbody, a 32-year-old man from West Seneca, New Mexico. Around 8:37pm, a Border Patrol agent began following Inbody’s white Nissan Rogue after it failed to completely stop at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint located on Interstate 10. 

After agents began following Inbody, they deployed a spike strip that popped his vehicle’s tires and Inbody exited his car and began walking away on foot. In the video released by CBP, agents attempted to persuade Inbody to release the wooden stick he was carrying and order him to the ground. 

As Inbody continued to walk and ignore their requests, agents deployed their electric tasers in an attempt to subdue him. These attempts failed. After Inbody swung his stick at approaching agents, agents fired. CBP’s official report lists that agents fired at least 16 rounds, and Inbody was officially declared deceased at 5:16 am on April 3rd. 
According to Joel Inbody’s mother, Kim Lewis, Inbody suffers from bipolar disorder and PTSD. She suspects that he had mental health issues during his encounter with border agents, and questions why agents failed to recognize this. Now Lewis, along with her attorney Tom Casey, believes agents could have handled the incident differently and are waiting for answers from CBP as they continue their investigation.

Moretti, Luke, and Daniel Telvock. “West Seneca Man Fatally Shot by Border Agents in New Mexico Desert | Part 1.” News 4 Buffalo, September 25, 2023. https://www.wivb.com/news/investigates/west-seneca-man-fatally-shot-by-border-agents-in-new-mexico-desert-part-1/.
Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. “Use of Force Incident, Las Cruces, New Mexico. April 2, 2023,” May 2, 2023. https://www.dvidshub.net/video/881873/use-force-incident-las-cruces-new-mexico-april-2-2023.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “CBP Releases Body-Worn Camera Footage from Agent-Involved Shooting | U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” May 2, 2023. https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-releases-body-worn-camera-footage-agent-involved-shooting.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Agents Fire Service Weapons on Non-Compliant Man after He Strikes Agent with Wooden Club; Man Dies at Scene,” April 8, 2023. https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/speeches-and-statements/agents-fire-service-weapons-non-compliant-man-after-he-strikes.

Sector(s): Border Patrol, CBP

Agency(ies): Border Patrol, CBP

Event Type(s): Fatal Encounter

Accountability Status: Under DHS Review

Victim Classification: Medical Condition, Single Adult