June 5, 2012 (Phoenix Sun): MASSIVE MANHUNT RESULTS IN MULTIPLE DEATHS, ‘DEVIL’S HIGHWAY’ SUSPECT KILLED ATTACKING FBI AND POLICE IN STANDOFF. Four FBI agents, Two Apache Tribal Police, and a suspect were killed in a standoff in a remote area of the San Carlos Indian Reservation at about 2:45 local time, officials reported this evening.
The manhunt began when a suspect was identified in the murders of Palmer Valor, 73, and Joseph Nachise, 68, both of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Their badly mutilated corpses were found early yesterday in a locally known ‘sacred cave’ by a law enforcement team including FBI agents and elements of the Apache Tribal Police. This ‘sacred cave’ was apparently the hiding place of the suspect, who was identified by fingerprints at the crime scene.
This suspect was also being investigated for a possible role in the many disappearances in and around the San Carlos Apache reservation that have resulted in the area being referred to as the ’Devil’s Highway’.
A quickly-orchestrated manhunt followed in the hours immediately afterward, involving local Apache volunteers, U.S. Marshals, FBI agents, Arizona State Police and Arizona Highway Patrol. After three hours of searching by more than three hundred volunteers and law enforcement personnel, the suspect was spotted heading in a southerly direction through difficult terrain. The suspect was cornered by law enforcement personnel in a cave near a wash at about 2:15 PM local time. Negotiation took place, but the suspect eventually emerged from the cave firing an automatic weapon, killing four FBI agents and two Apache Tribal police attached to the manhunt.
Four other law enforcement personnel were said to have been admitted to local hospitals, but this has not been confirmed.
The identity of the suspect is being withheld, as he is currently the focus of Homeland Security investigations and is considered a federal fugitive.
FBI Director Robert Mueller issued a brief statement today, saying that once again gun violence has reared its head, and consoling the families of the fallen FBI agents.
The loss of the four FBI agents is the largest in the bureau’s history. The names of the agents have been released, and they are:
Special Agent Frank C. Bibb, 27
Special Agent Steven James, 32
Special Agent Roger Luna, 33
Special Agent Joseph A. Ricks, 28
The Apache Tribal Policemen killed were:
Officer Carl Chee, 25
Officer James Martinez, 30