Man who died after New Mexico shootout with Border Patrol agents was wanted in Iowa


Benjamin Marley Manley (Courtesy U.S. Marshals Office)

EL PASO, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Authorities are investigating whether a man who fired at U.S. Border Patrol agents died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or the exchange of gunfire, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday night.

Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the man was traveling north on New Mexico Highway 185 and failed to stop at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Hatch, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

When agents attempted to stop the silver Chevrolet Impala, the driver led them on a chase and fired at the border agents, who returned fire. The chase ended in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

36-year-old Benjamin Marley Manley was taken to a hospital, where he died. CBP said it is unclear if the man died from the exchange of gunfire or from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Manley is a wanted fugitive accused of trying to shoot a woman outside a convenience store in Council Bluffs, Iowa, according to a notice by the U.S. Marshals Office.

Manley “has a history of shooting at police officers.” He was wanted on charges of attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and felon in possession of a firearm. The notice said Manley was also known as Christopher Reeves.

CBP also said Manley had a female passenger in the vehicle. She was not injured and is now in custody.

On Wednesday, NewsNation affiliate KTSM spoke with two women who claimed to be the driver’s sister and cousin. They identified the driver as Benjamin Manley. They asked to remain anonymous and said Manley’s passenger called them after the shooting, saying she was frightened.

“That she was scared that he was shooting at the police and that they’re chasing him. They haven’t come back for her yet but she thinks they’re coming back. I said, ‘OK, well, I don’t know the situation, if he kidnapped you, you need to explain that to them so you don’t get in trouble. I don’t know the situation it’s just she had my number because I’m the last person he called,” Manley’s relative said.

The family member also confirmed Manley was fleeing from law enforcement due to prior convictions and said the U.S. Marshals had a warrant out for his arrest for attempted murder in Council Bluffs, Iowa that happened this past Thanksgiving.

“He did 13 years for shooting at a U.S. Marshal, stolen vehicles, guns and things so he knew with that charge of attempted murder he was going back to prison for the rest of his life,” one of the anonymous callers said, adding that they were just trying to find where Manley was and learn his condition.

“There was people that were in the area I guess and they said one of them heard that he shot himself. I’m going to be honest with you, he talked about that. He talked about shooting himself, so I’m really scared,” one of the women said.

NewsNation affiliate asked a Border Patrol spokesman if he could confirm whether the man involved in Wednesday’s incident was Manley, but was referred to the CBP statement issued Wednesday night.

“At this time we can get only speak to the statement as this is still an active investigation,” said U.S. Border Patrol Agent George Gomez, and agency spokesman.

El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said no agents were injured in the “situation involving the failure to yield,” but that one unidentified person had been taken to the hospital.

CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility and DHS Office of Inspector General responded to the scene. The incident is under investigation.

After learning of Manley’s death during a follow-up phone call, Manley’s cousin told NewsNation affiliate KTSM the family is grateful no Border Patrol agents or anyone else was injured in today’s incident.

NewsNation affiliates Border Report and KTSM contributed to this report.

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