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Naked Kansas man was shot by an Arizona cop. He wasn’t on illegal drugs, autopsy finds

Tyler Miller is survived by his wife of 28 years, Darcy, and their four sons.
Tyler Miller is survived by his wife of 28 years, Darcy, and their four sons. Courtesy Photo

The unarmed Kansas man who was naked and bloody when fatally shot by a U.S. Forest Service officer in January was within the legal drinking limit and had no illegal drugs in his system.

Tyler Miller, 51, of Hutchinson, was on his way to a spiritual retreat in Arizona when he crashed his Toyota Tacoma just north of Sedona.

He climbed out through the windshield after crashing his pickup, The Hutchinson News reported. Then he took off his bloodied clothes and walked down the road while naked. Miller was unarmed.

People driving on the highway called 911 after seeing a naked man throwing rocks at passing cars, ABC15 reported. Rocks the size of softballs were found on the side of the road.

An officer allegedly shot Miller after stopping to help, the FBI has said.

An autopsy report for Miller was released last week and uploaded by The Hutchinson News. It says he died of a gunshot wound to his abdomen and that the death was a homicide.

The findings filed by the Yavapai County Medical Examiner show that his body had a blood alcohol level of 0.05, and that's below the legal driving limit of 0.08.

Miller also tested positive for nicotine and cotinine, analgesics (painkillers that don't make you lose consciousness, such as ibuprofen) and Naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid drug overdoses.

No opiates were found in his system.

George Behonick, director and chief toxicologist at Axis Forensic Toxicology, told the Arizona Daily Sun that naloxone and painkillers would not have caused Miller to act how he did when the officer showed up to help after Miller crashed.

Richard Neff, chief medical officer at Flagstaff Medical Center, told the Arizona Daily Sun that findings of naloxone makes the incident a "really confusing picture."

“I’m not quite sure if you had a functioning liver and kidneys why you would have naloxone (in your system) and not an opiate or something you would have taken naloxone for," he said.

Krista Kuhns, the officer who responded to the crash, was "not seriously injured" and placed on administrative leave, the 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 where he was pronounced dead.

One of Miller’s sons told investigators that his father was had been depressed and acting strangely, the Sun reported. The family member also said he was worried his dad was suicidal.

The autopsy report said Miller had a gunshot wound to his mid-abdominal area, one to his left-lateral abdomen and two Taser prongs in his abdomen.

Miller was a husband and father of four sons.

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