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BWC: Man fires rifle at Idaho officers before fatal OIS

The man was intoxicated with alcohol and heroin and told officers that “other guys” were telling him to take his own life

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By Joanna Putman

BOISE, Idaho — Body camera footage released by the Boise Police Department shows the moment an intoxicated suspect fired at officers with an AR-15 rifle, leading to a fatal officer-involved shooting.

The June 2023 incident began when the man called 911, according to the critical incident briefing released on April 18. He was speaking incoherently and told officers that he had an automatic weapon in the house.

Officers contacted him via phone while at his home. He told them that he was very drunk, had bought cocaine and was with “other guys” who were telling him to kill himself, video shows.

“I don’t want you guys to get involved…” the man said. “Don’t approach them – I don’t know who they are or what they’re capable of.”

At the end of the call, gunshots can be heard, indicating the man fired the rifle. Officers then responded to the house, according to the critical incident briefing.

When officers arrived at the house, they found the man outside with the gun raised above his head. He followed officers’ instructions to put the gun down, slowly walk toward officers and get on his knees.

While officers waited for additional units to arrive, the man suddenly stood up and ran to the rifle. He then turned to face officers with it, video shows.

Officers and the subject fired multiple shots. The man was brought to the ground but maintained the rifle and continued firing shots at officers, according to the critical incident briefing.

After securing the rifle, officers rendered medical aid to the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Gem County prosecutor concluded that “all officers were justified in their actions.”

“This was a very intense and frightening incident for the residents of this normally quiet neighborhood. We feel fortunate nobody else was physically injured or killed, including the responding officers, who attempted to resolve this incident peacefully. I am thankful for the thorough investigation and review of the incident by other Treasure Valley Law Enforcement agencies, and the Gem County Prosecutor,” said Police Chief Ron Winegar.