Idahoan Mistakenly Killed By Police In His Own Backyard Amid Search For Fleeing Driver
Police in Idaho said they accidentally shot and killed a person standing in their own backyard while officers were searching for someone who had fled after stopping traffic and was later found hiding nearby.
The Idaho Falls Police Department announced the shooting at a news conference on Monday, calling the police chief “devastating tragic for the family, for the officer and for those who love and care for them.”
“We all feel what has happened today,” Chief Bryce Johnson said.
The shooting victim was not publicly identified as of Tuesday. A police news release cited a request for confidentiality from the victim’s family to withdraw their names. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office has identified the traffic stop suspect as 22-year-old Tanner JN Shoosmith.
Police officers were tracking a driver through an Idaho Falls neighborhood just after midnight Monday when they suspected the man, who had multiple warrants for violent behavior and was suspected of being armed, in the backyard of a home had fled.
Officers surrounded the house with their weapons drawn when a man wearing a black shirt, described by the driver as wearing it, was seen in a backyard equipped with a gun.
Officers instructed the man to drop the gun. An Idaho Falls police officer, wearing a body camera, fired a single shot, injuring the man.
Johnson said his department “does not currently have the answers occurring during these moments.”
The police department said efforts to save the man’s life were unsuccessful.
It is later revealed that the victim was not the man they were looking for but a resident of the house. Shortly after the shooting, Bootsmith was found hiding in a nearby backyard shed and taken into custody.
There were several warrants for Bootsmith’s arrest, including felony battery on an officer and failure to appear in court for previous charges of resisting arrest and providing misinformation to law enforcement. Police said there is also a record of violent interactions with law enforcement.
The officer who discharged his firearms has been placed on administrative leave as the incident is investigated by the Eastern Idaho Critical Incident Task Force. Johnson said an internal investigation is also being done.
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