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Special Agents Jeb Killion and Marcus Washington, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas

2019 Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Recipient

On July 25, 2019, the FBI San Antonio SWAT Team, which included Special Agents Marcus Washington and Jeb Killion, was serving a high risk arrest warrant to a domestic terrorism suspect at a residence in Robinson, Texas. The suspect, who is a convicted felon, was suspected of illegally manufacturing, fabricating, and distributing weapons. The team breached the front door and used a public announcement system to call out the subject, but it received no response. After several minutes, the suspect’s girlfriend and her son exited the residence. She told the team that she had not seen the suspect since the day prior and did not know where he was.

During the initial clearing of the residence, the team discovered a narrow, unlit crawl space behind an unfinished upstairs storage room. It was barely 3 feet by 3 feet and, on first inspection, it seemed to terminate in a straight line. While other team members focused on the rear of the residence, Special Agents Washington and Killion went to check the crawl space using their flashlights.

Understanding that the crawl space needed to be properly cleared, Special Agent Killion crawled on his hands and knees to an uncleared section of the attic. He used the light mounted on his handgun to illuminate the space and observed the suspect hiding behind open floor beams. He gave the suspect commands to show his hands and to move into the open, and then he used his radio to alert the other team members that he was in contact with the suspect.

The subject said that he had lit the fuse on an explosive device, and he had rigged the whole house to detonate, and explained that he needed to move his hands to deactivate the device. Special Agent Killion, suspecting that the subject wanted to trigger the device, ordered him to keep his hands visible. He also knew that he needed to transmit an immediate evacuation order to the rest of the SWAT Team.

Having heard the verbal commotion, Special Agent Washington entered the crawl space and rushed to a position of support next to Special Agent Killion. Due to radio traffic, Special Agent Killion was unable to transmit the evacuation order, so he communicated to a SWAT member posted near the opening to the crawl space, and from there the order to evacuate was relayed to the rest of the team. The subject then said that he knew his girlfriend and son were out of the house, and he had to stop the explosive from detonating. He moved both hands down and out of view at which point Special Agent Washington, recognizing the imminent threat, fatally shot the subject.

Special Agents Killion and Washington acted courageously by placing themselves in great danger to clear the crawl space. They remained in position to control the suspect, while an order to evacuate was communicated to their fellow SWAT Team members, and succeeded in eliminating the threat.

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