E. Idaho man shot and killed while police search for fleeing suspect
“There are no words to express how heavy our hearts are today”
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A law enforcement officer shot and killed an Idaho Falls man who was in the location where a suspect fled following a traffic stop early Monday morning.
The Idaho Falls Police Department hosted a news conference explaining the situation. Police Chief Bryce Johnson said the man shot was a homeowner in his backyard and was holding a gun. The suspect was found in the vicinity a short time later.
Neither of the names of the victim or suspect is being released at this time.
According to a news release, IDPD said shortly after midnight a Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over a car on First Street in Idaho Falls. The car came to stop at Lincoln Drive and one occupant fled on foot into a residential neighborhood. The deputy informed law enforcement of the direction the man fled on foot and provided a clothing description, including a black shirt.
A number of IFPD officers and sheriff’s deputies responded to the area.
While searching for the suspect a police officer spoke briefly with a resident near Tendoy and Syringa drives and explained the situation and that law enforcement would be in the area for a while.
During this time, law enforcement was able to determine the identity of the suspect and learned he had multiple warrants out for his arrest and had a history of violent interactions with law enforcement.
A second occupant in the car that was stopped spoke with law enforcement and provided law enforcement with a GPS location of the suspect, which put him in the backyard of a residence on the corner of Tendoy and Syringa drives.
Officers and deputies surrounded the location to prevent the suspect from fleeing. Based on known information about the suspect, officers entered the area with their weapons drawn.
According to a news release, officers heard yelling and approached the backyard where they encountered a man wearing a black shirt armed with a firearm. Officers gave instructions for the man to drop the gun.
“We do not currently have the answers as to what exactly occurred during these moments,” said Chief Johnson. “We do know that during this interaction, an Idaho Falls Police Officer discharged his service weapon firing one shot which struck the man. Officers attempted life-saving measures, but they were unsuccessful. Emergency medical personnel from the Idaho Falls Fire Department also responded and were also unable to provide any lifesaving aide to the man.”
Ultimately, officers and deputies determined that the man that had been shot was not the suspect male but was actually the resident of that address.
Shortly after the shot was fired, a deputy in the area reported seeing a man running through the area. Officers and deputies tracked this man to a nearby residence where he was found hiding in a shed in the backyard of the residence. This man was positively identified as the suspect male who ran from the traffic stop and was taken into custody at that time.
The IFPD officer who discharges his weapon has been placed on administrative leave.
The Eastern Idaho Critical Taskforce is investigating the situation, with Idaho State Police leading. Police said from the time of the traffic stop, the shooting and arrest of the suspect was about 10 minutes.
“There are no words to express how heavy our hearts are today,” Johnson said in a statement. “This situation is devastatingly tragic for the family, for the officer, and those that love and care about them. We all feel the weight of what has occurred today. Our sincere sympathies are with the family and friends of those involved, most especially the family of the deceased.”
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