By Steve Guntli
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent shot and killed a man attempting to illegally cross the border near Sumas.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on March 19, two agents confronted the suspect, who had set off a sensor after he entered the country illegally. Agents found the man about 600 feet south of the crossing on Kneuman Road.
The CBP agents confirmed the man was behaving erratically. The suspect attacked a border agent with pepper spray after he was confronted as a suspected illegal. The border agent was not seriously injured in the attack. The agent fired his service pistol and killed the suspect as he was attempting to flee. Medical examiners confirmed the suspect died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head.
On March 20, police identified the dead man as 20-year-old Jamison Edward Childress. Spokesmen for the CBP confirmed Childress was wanted for murder in another jurisdiction. According to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Childress had been carrying a backpack containing a hatchet, but did not brandish the hatchet at the approaching officers. Childress did not have a gun on him.
Childress was wanted in connection to the murder of 18-year-old Brando Walker of Calgary, according to a report by CBC News. Fishermen from the Tsuu T’ina First Nation near the Elbow River found Walker’s partially burned body on March 7.
On March 20, Walker’s friends and family began posting links to news of Childress’ death on Walker’s memorial Facebook page, using the hashtag #justiceforbrando. RCMP officers have three other suspects already in custody.
Childress had been charged with malicious mischief and assault in Prince George, B.C. in 2013, and had also been arrested for theft in Fraser Lake, B.C. in September 2014. He was due to stand trial for the 2013 charges on March 20.
Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said his department will be leading a multi-department investigation into the shooting, and would not comment on the details until more progress had been made. Both CBP agents involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure following a shooting. The officer who pulled the trigger received medical care for the pepper spray.