Funeral held for Kansas man shot and killed by U.S. Forest Service officer in Oak Creek Canyon

Tyler Miller

Tyler Miller

Tyler Miller, the man shot killed and killed by a U.S. Forest Service officer on Jan. 5 in Oak Creek Canyon, had a “very well attended” funeral in his hometown of Hutchinson, Kansas, on Tuesday.

Miller, 51, was fatally shot while traveling through Oak Creek Canyon on his way to a spiritual retreat, according to a news release from the Hutchinson law firm Bretz & Young, L.L.C. 

Miller’s high-school sweetheart and wife of 28 years, Darcy, and their four sons attended the funeral service with more than 300 people at the CrossPoint Church, in Hutchinson, according to the Elliot Mortuary and Crematory on Wednesday.

Mary Clarkin, a reporter for the Hutchinson News who attended the service, on Thursday said there was no mention of the incident in Arizona during the service.

“No eulogist mentioned the spiritual retreat Miller had been headed to, Arizona or the manner in which he died. The black casket, topped with red flowers, was slid into the white hearse for the trip to Fairlawn Burial Park. The family invited those at the funeral to join them after the burial for a gathering at the 4-H Encampment Building on the Kansas State Fairgrounds,” Clarkin wrote in her story.

“Employees, business associates and friends recalled a generous man who relished sports – watching, coaching and playing – and was comfortable at the casino gaming table or riding his motorcycle or playing golf. Above all, they said, he loved his wife, Darcy Miller, whom he wed in 1989, and their four sons.”

The FBI in Phoenix did not respond to an email Tuesday requesting any updates on the investigation and did not respond with the name of the U.S. Attorney handling the case.

The family’s attorney has stated that the FBI told them that the case has been forwarded to the U.S. Attorney.

Attorney Matt Bretz in Kansas has been in contact with the FBI. “According to the FBI, while driving on a curvy mountain road Ty apparently lost control of his pickup truck and went off the road where his vehicle hit a large rock. It is unclear exactly what happened next, except to say that after Ty got out of his crashed vehicle a U.S. Forest Service officer shot Ty near the scene of the accident. The FBI has stated that Ty was not armed. The FBI has further stated that they are conducting a full investigation and anticipate turning the matter over to the US Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, charges will be filed against the U.S. Forest Service officer,” Bretz said in the news release several days after the incident.

Bretz’s office on Wednesday said the attorney was in a trial, but they had no new information about the incident.

According to the Elliott Mortuary & Crematory, Miller died in Cottonwood, Az., even though the incident occurred in Sedona. There were scanner reports that day that he was being transported to the Verde Valley Regional Medical Center, but the law enforcement would not respond to that question.

The Department of Public Service also refused to release details about the crash of Miller’s truck on SR89A, stating that the FBI would release all the information, including the traffic investigation.

An F.B.I. new release of the shooting stated, “A Forest Service Officer stopped to render assistance to a vehicular traffic accident. An altercation occurred between the officer and the subject, Tyler Miller of Kansas. It was later determined the officer was injured and treated on the scene by EMS personnel. Miller was shot and transferred to a medical center and later declared deceased. The investigation is ongoing, as such, no further information will be released at this time.”


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