IRS agent accidentally shot, killed by fellow agent during training at Phoenix gun range

The FBI is investigating the shooting
Phoenix police officers and firefighters paid respects on Thursday evening to a fallen IRS killed at a federal shooting range in north Phoenix.
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 4:07 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 2:41 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A special agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is dead after being accidentally shot by another IRS agent during a training exercise Thursday at a federal gun range in Phoenix, officials confirmed. On Friday, IRS officials identified the victim as 47-year-old Patrick Bauer, a longtime Arizona resident. He was a retired master sergeant with the Arizona Air National Guard and served with the 161st Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron, the National Guard said in an email. He served for more than 20 years, completing multiple state missions and overseas deployments. “Our hearts go out to MSgt Bauer’s family, friends and all those who had the privilege to work with him. His service to the state and nation will forever be remembered,” Maj. Gen. Kerry L. Muehlenbeck, Arizona National Guard Adjutant General, said in a written statement. Bauer is survived by his wife and four kids.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirms that an incident occurred at their gun range, which multiple federal agencies were utilizing at the time through an interagency agreement. The spokesperson said no Federal Bureau of Prisons employees were injured in the incident.

Charlotte M. Dennis with the Phoenix Field Office of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) division said after the shooting, Bauer was taken to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, where he died. “Our concern today is for the agent and their family,” she said in the written statement on Thursday.

Special agents with the FBI’s Phoenix field office are investigating the shooting. “The FBI’s investigation will be methodical and thorough to address every element of the incident,” an emailed statement said. Those findings will then be turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (District of Arizona) for review.


The special agents involved in Thursday’s shooting were part of the IRS’s Criminal Investigations unit with the Phoenix Field Office. Special agents with IRS-Criminal Investigations are the law enforcement branch of the IRS and are fully-sworn law enforcement officers who investigate violations of the Internal Revenue Code, including potential tax crimes, money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations. According to the IRS, the Criminal Investigations Division is made up of 3,000 employees worldwide, with 2,100 of those being special agents.

The IRS told Arizona’s Family Investigates that the Phoenix Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigations covers four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. The office has approximately 90 special agents.

An IRS agent was shot and killed during training in Phoenix so we look into the background of armed IRS agents.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website that tracks law enforcement line-of-duty deaths, this is the fifth line-of-duty death involving IRS Criminal Investigations and the first involving a shooting death.

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