Jacob Scholl and Ruth Brown
The Idaho Statesman
This story has been updated from its original version as new information was released.
Three Boise Police Department officers discharged their weapons early Monday at a campground, killing a man who fired his gun from inside a trailer dozens of times, according to a news release.
Officers were first dispatched to the 100 block of Pennwood Street in Meridian at around 3:30 a.m. after reports of gunshots in the area, according to Stephany Galbreaith, public information officer for the Meridian Police Department. Police were sent to a KOA campground.
Boise Police officers responded to assist Meridian officers and Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The BPD release Monday night said at least one nearby trailer was struck multiple times by the subject’s gunfire.
“Boise Police officers responded to assist due to the dangerous nature of the call and the large number of potential victims on scene,” according to the BPD release. “Officers arrived to find a suspect inside his trailer, firing shots toward other nearby occupied trailers. Officers surrounded the trailer, deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle, and attempted to evacuate nearby residents.”
Police say officers took up positions within the RV park,with one Boise officer positioning himself with a line of sight into the back window of the trailer.
“Officers could see the suspect reloading and shooting the gun indiscriminately,” according to police. “… The officer with a line of sight to the suspect fired one shot at the suspect.”
Additional officers with shields then moved toward the suspect, the release said, and as Boise officers approached, the suspect resumed shooting from inside the trailer.
“Officers looking in the window could see the suspect raise the gun and officers were forced to fire again,” according to the release.
Police said they tried to get into the trailer to render aid to the suspect, but the door was barricaded. After eventually getting inside, the man was brought outside so paramedics could tend to him. He died at the scene.
All of the shots fired by officers were accounted for on scene, the release said. Police did not say how many rounds were fired.
The officers involved were wearing body cameras, and that evidence is being reviewed and collected by the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force, whose investigation is being led by the Garden City Police Department.
The deceased man, whose identity was not made public Monday, was believed to be around 60 years old, Galbreaith said.
“The names of the officers involved in the incident will be made public at a later date,” according to BPD. “They are two 12-year veteran officers, and a six-year veteran officer. They are on paid administrative leave per department policy.”
The Boise release pointed out that information in the news release should be considered preliminary, pending the results of the task force investigation.
The Boise Office of Police Oversight also responded to the scene and will conduct an independent investigation, and BPD Internal Affairs will perform an internal investigation.
“We value the sanctity of human life, and no Boise police officer takes the use of deadly force lightly. Our condolences go out to the family of the deceased,” said Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee in the release. “All of the officers at the scene are trained to respond to people in mental health crisis and regularly are able to de-escalate situations, but due to the ongoing and obvious danger presented by the suspect, the officers involved had a moral and ethical obligation to intervene.”
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