An unarmed Kansas man was bloody and naked before a Forest Service officer shot and killed him in Arizona, official reports say.
Tyler Miller, 51, of Hutchinson, was on his way to a spiritual retreat in Arizona on Jan. 5 when he crashed his Toyota Tacoma. A U.S. Forest Service officer shot him after she stopped to help him, the FBI said.
Miller climbed out through the windshield after crashing his pickup, which was lying on its side touching exposed power lines, on a winding part of a canyon highway, the Hutchinson News reported. He then took off a bloodied and torn T-shirt, belt, boots, socks, jeans and underwear as he walked down the road.
People driving by on the highway called 911 about a naked man running toward cars and kicking and throwing rocks at them, ABC15 reported. Several rocks the size of softballs or bigger were found along the road.
Forest Service officer Krista Kuhns stopped to help Miller, but an altercation occurred instead, the FBI said. A Taser with an expended cartridge was found on the ground at the scene, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.
“I could hear in her tone she was shaky and was speaking loudly, consistent with an intense situation,” Coconino County sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Walter wrote in his incident report. “Shortly after, I heard across the radio, ‘Shots fired.’”
Miller was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was pronounced dead. He did not have a weapon.
Kuhns is on administrative leave as the FBI continues its investigation, the Sun reported. She was “not seriously injured, although shaken” after the incident, the News reported.
One of Miller’s sons told law enforcement that his father was going through a marital separation and had been depressed and acting strangely, the Sun reported. He was worried that his father was suicidal, and said Miller was sending unusual religious texts and likely had not slept in a long time.
Miller owned several businesses in the Hutchinson area, an online obituary states, including TnT Bonding Inc., Stanley Liquor and Southside Smokes. Employees, business associates, friends and family recalled a generous man who relished sports and loved his wife and four sons at Miller’s Jan. 16 funeral, the Garden City Telegram reported.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office released some statements and reports from the incident, which is still under FBI investigation, the News reported. Toxicology tests will not be released for several more weeks, the Associated Press reported.