Image via Idaho Falls PD.

Police in Idaho are investigating themselves after they shot a homeowner who was armed with a pistol in his own back yard while searching for a criminal suspect. As of now, the bodycam footage hasn’t yet been released. Meanwhile, not far away, the real suspect was arrested without incident.

Generally speaking, if law enforcement have saturated your neighborhood, the best course of action is to remain indoors with the doors locked. Prudent people won’t leave  the safety of a residence to make sure a backyard shed is locked or to cook a steak on the grill.

In this case, not only did the homeowner leave his house, but he allegedly had a gun in his hand when police arrived. When they entered his yard and saw him, one of the cops fired a single, fatal shot mistakenly believing the homeowner was the criminal.

Obviously the bodycam video will likely answer a lot of questions.

NBC News reported the story:

The incident started when a Bonneville County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a vehicle in Idaho Falls for a broken tail light shortly after midnight Monday, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. While the driver remained in the car, the passenger took off running, authorities said.

Idaho Falls police officers and Bonneville County sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene and began searching for the suspect, who was wearing a black shirt and khaki pants and headed in the direction of a residential neighborhood, according to a statement from Idaho Falls police.

Suspect Tanner J. N. Shoesmith. Image via Idaho Falls PD.

A resident told an officer they had seen the suspect run through their yard, and the resident believed the suspect was armed with a gun. All officers were given this information, police said…

“Officers and deputies surrounded the residence and backyard in order to prevent the suspect from fleeing,” the statement said. “Due to the information that the suspect may be armed, and a prior history of violence when interacting with police officers, law enforcement personnel entered the location with their service weapons drawn.”

Officers said they heard yelling and saw a man in a black shirt. He was armed with a gun, and officers told the man to drop the weapon, according to the statement.

The link has more information. The bottom line here remains that cops shot the wrong person by mistake. When it’s eventually released, the bodycam video should reveal whether the officer’s actions were reasonable and prudent given the circumstances.

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