It has now been just over a month since Tyler Miller, 51, was shot and killed in Oak Creek Canyon following a car accident and a reported altercation with a U.S. Forest Service employee.
Authorities closed Oak Creek Canyon for more than five hours on Jan. 5 as law enforcement officers from the Coconino County and Yavapai County sheriff’s offices, Sedona Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety investigated the scene, waiting for the FBI, which took jurisdiction because the incident involved a federal employee.
Larson Newspapers photojournalist Jake Green was one of the first reporters on the scene and remained on site for several hours as law enforcement gathered details about the incident but were mum, as the FBI was the lead agency.
The FBI Phoenix office, which is conducting the investigation, did not issue a statement the night of Jan. 5. The FBI statement released Jan. 8 is the most current update on the incident.
The three civilians that we photographed from behind police tape all declined to speak to the media after they were released from the scene.
Aside from a handful of individuals in the area who claimed to have heard the shots, no residents have contacted us with eyewitness accounts of the incident.
The Kansas law firm representing the Miller family issued a statement after the incident, which we included in our story, but the claims the firm made about the investigation were not corroborated by any agents at the FBI, so it’s unclear if the law firm’s statement is entirely accurate.
The FBI has not replied to multiple requests for further comment due to the ongoing investigation, so Sedona residents are as much in the dark as we were in the hours after the shooting.
We have requested to be immediately notified of any updates the FBI may have, but due to the length and thoroughness of a typical investigation, we have no idea when a statement will come.
Funeral services for Miller took place Jan. 16 in Hutchinson, Kan. Miller is survived by his wife and four sons.
Miller owned three businesses in the town and co-owned a fourth. Many of his former employees spoke at the service, according the Hutchinson News, with whom we have shared information about the incident and the aftermath.
We have not forgotten the incident and will report further details as soon as we have something to report.
Christopher Fox Graham
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