An IRS agent practicing at a gun range in Phoenix, Arizona accidentally shot and killed another IRS agent Thursday during a training exercise, according to a spokesperson.
Patrick Bauer, 47, a retired Master Sgt. in the Arizona National Guard, was shot at the Federal Correctional Institution Phoenix Firing Range by another still unidentified agent.
Bauer was taken immediately to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
Charlotte M. Dennis with the Phoenix Field Office of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) division said Thursday of the incident, “Our concern today is for the agent and their family.”
Special agents in the Phoenix FBI office are investigating the shooting, a spokesperson said.
Further details about the training exercise and the incident were not released due to the pending investigation.
“The FBI’s investigation will be methodical and thorough to address every element of the incident,” the office said in a statement. "Those findings will then be turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office (District of Arizona) for review."
The agents were part of the IRS's Criminal Investigations (CI) unit, which has been expanding since the passage of new funding that allowed the IRS to hire 87,000 new personnel.
The agency was one of several that used the firing range through an interagency agreement.
Since getting its new funding from the Biden administration and Democrat lawmakers in 2021, the IRS has spent $10 million on firearms, ammunition and military-style gear it says it needs to conduct criminal investigations and enforcement.
Why the IRS would need that much ammunition, rifles, shotguns, and other gear has been a question from Republicans since the funding was passed and the purchases began.
The literal weaponization of an agency meant to oversee the country's taxation system should have been worrying for all Americans even before a tragic accident like this one occurred.
Now, the IRS has 3,000 CI field agents in locations around the country like Phoenix, where 90 agents cover the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.
The agency has claimed that because the IRS CI agents need to carry out search and arrest warrants, they need the weapons and training that the agency has purchased. Critics say it's too much power for the agency and that regular law enforcement should be used in these cases.
Republicans in the House voted to strip the additional funding from the IRS that came from the Biden administration, but the bill could not get through a Democrat Senate and would not have been signed by President Joe Biden, who of course supported the funding for weaponizing the agency.