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Arkansas airport director shot by ATF agents during raid at home has died, brother says

The director of a Arkansas airport who was shot by ATF agents during a raid at his home this week has died, his brother told Fox News Digital.

The Arkansas airport executive director who was shot by federal agents during a raid at his home this week has died from his injuries, his brother said.

Bryan Malinowski, 53, died two days after a gunfire exchange with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) at his Little Rock residence. He was pronounced dead Thursday, Matthew Malinowski told Fox News Digital. 

Bill Walker, the new executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, also announced the death of Malinowski in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

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"With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of our Executive Director, Bryan Malinowski. Bryan was a 16-year employee of the airport," Walker said. "Under his leadership, our airport has experienced significant growth and success, expanding services and offerings to our community and state. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Bryan's wife, Maer, loved ones and friends."

Many questions have surrounded the circumstances regarding the fatal shooting of Bryan Malinowski. The ATF said agents were attempting to serve a search warrant at Malinowski's home when there was a gunfire exchange. One agent was wounded and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. 

Malinowski was shot in the head, his brother said. 

"They went for a kill shot," he said of the ATF agents. "I did see that they shot five times, and they were shooting to hurt, and Bryan did shoot back at them. He was aiming for the shins, a non-lethal shot."

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"One of the rounds went through about three or four walls," he added. 

The shooting occurred days after Malinowski was in Washington, D.C., meeting with Arkansas congressional lawmakers. 

"Director Bryan Malinowski’s passing is tragic, and our thoughts are with the family at this time," read a statement to Fox News Digital from Arkansas' House delegation comprised of Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman, all Republicans. 

"A delegation from the airport was in Washington, D.C., last week to meet with Arkansas representatives and their staff to discuss their priorities for the airport. We will continue to monitor this ongoing situation."

Matthew Malinowski has questioned why authorities conducted the raid at 6 a.m. instead of approaching his brother at work, which he said would have been a safer alternative for everyone involved in Tuesday's operation. He noted Bryan Malinowski was an avid collector of firearms but was not sure why he was the target of a search warrant. 

David Gelman, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, said it was concerning that the ATF hasn't released information about why agents were at the home. 

"I think the more concerning thing is that they still haven't released any info about what they were even doing out there for a 6 a.m. raid," he told Fox News Digital in a statement. "You know how fast the U.S. Attorney's (Office) love a press conference. Normally, they would have already justified it with a copy of the warrant. Still nothing."

"There must have been probable cause to believe there was evidence of some crime inside the residence," he added. "Thus, the need to execute a search warrant at that location."

He noted that calls for de-escalation would likely have saved lives in this case. 

"It's not that I dislike the ATF, but we've got some bad carrots that are just screwing things up for everybody else and, unfortunately, they're causing damage," said Matthew Malinowski.

He said it was difficult to believe his brother was involved in anything illegal, considering how his life was going. 

Bryan Malinowski also owned five properties, made somewhere between $270,000 to $280,000 annually, and was responsible for around 2,000 employees under him at the airport in Little Rock, his brother said. 

"When you're in that position, life is great. Why would you screw it up with a small infraction?" Matthew Malinowski previously said. "He always kept his nose clean. He had no enemies that I know of."

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