A man killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent on Thursday after crossing the international border south of Abbotsford was wanted in connection with the murder of an 18-year-old Calgary teen.
Jamison E. Childress, 20, was identified last week by the Whatcom County medical examiner as the man who was shot in the head following an apparent confrontation with law enforcement.
At a press conference in Sumas on Friday, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo did not identify Childress, but said their preliminary findings revealed that the deceased was wanted for murder in another jurisdiction.
Alberta RCMP said in a news release that investigators were in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for Childress, of Prince George, for the first degree murder of Brando Walker.
Walker was killed in a residence in the Saddleridge neighbourhood of Calgary, but his partially burned body was found by fishermen on the Tsuu T’ina First Nation on March 7, according to local media reports.
Three other people, ages 15, 20 and 21, have been charged in connection with the death of Walker.
Childress was shot near Kneuman Road, which runs east-to-west less than 1,000 feet from the border to the west of the Sumas crossing, on the other side of a hilled area at the end of McKenzie Road in Abbotsford.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement saying an agent had used his gun after being assaulted by “a suspected illegal border crosser.”
Dan Harris Jr., the Border Patrol Blaine sector chief, told reporters on Friday that “it has been a very difficult last 24 hours for the U.S. Border Patrol.”
The agents were responding to a sensor activation near Sumas, Wash., where the man was suspected of having illegally crossed the border, said Harris.
“The subject displayed erratic and threatening behavior toward two agents who had responded,” and the man assaulted one of the agents with an “unknown incapacitating spray,” he said.
The agent responded by discharging his weapon, said Harris and was treated for the effects of the spray. Following standard procedure after a shooting, the officers involved are currently on administrative leave, he added.
“As you all know a shooting is a very traumatic event for a law enforcement officer,” he said. “Taking another human being’s life is the last thing that we ever want to do.”
Elfo said there was also a hatchet found in a backpack, but it was not displayed as a weapon in the encounter.
“We’re still interviewing witnesses. We’re still putting together pieces of physical evidence and we haven’t drawn any firm conclusions, but it is very apparent that this person was erratic and aggressively approached the agent.”
According to B.C. court records, Childress was facing several charges in Northern B.C.
He was due to stand trial last Tuesday on assault and mischief charges laid in 2013 in Prince George. He failed to show and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was also due to stand trail in Fraser Lake this fall on charges of theft and possession of stolen property under $5,000.