Idaho Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man in His Own Yard After Mistaking Him for Suspect

A man in Idaho is dead after he was fatally shot in his own yard by a police officer who had mistaken him for a suspect during a pursuit, according to authorities.

The incident occurred on shortly after midnight on Monday after a deputy from the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office attempted to make a traffic stop in a residential area of Idaho Falls, according to a press release from the Idaho Falls Police Department.

Police said an occupant from the car fled the scene on foot and the deputy who initiated the traffic stop broadcasted a description of the suspect's clothing — which included a black shirt — to other law enforcement members.

Officers from the Idaho Falls Police Department and deputies from the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office arrived on scene in search of the suspect.

While law enforcement personnel searched the neighborhood, a resident in the area told police that they had saw the suspect run through their yard and that they believed the suspect had a gun, according to the release.

Authorities said that police also spoke with another resident and told them that officers were looking for a man who had fled a traffic stop.

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Police said that a background check on the suspect determined that he had multiple warrants for his arrest — including felony battery on an officer and two failure to appear warrants with original charges of resisting/obstructing arrest — and the suspect had a history of violent interactions with law enforcement.

As officers search the area, the second occupant of the car, who remained inside the vehicle after the traffic stop, told law enforcement officials that they had received a message from the suspect that shared his GPS location, according to police.

Police said the GPS location showed that the suspect was in a backyard and law enforcement officials surrounded the area with their service weapons drawn given the suspect's history of violence.

According to police, officers then encountered a man wearing a black shirt armed with a gun and gave instructions for the man to drop his firearm.

"We do not currently have the answers as to what exactly occurred during these moments," Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson said in a statement. "We do know that during this interaction, an Idaho Falls Police Officer discharged his service weapon firing one shot which struck the man."

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"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 aid to the man," Johnson said.

According to police, a deputy in the area reported seeing a man running through the neighborhood shortly after the shooting. Authorities tracked him down and found the man hiding inside a backyard shed.

At the time, police were able to identify the hiding man as the suspect and take him into custody.

Police later determined that the man who was shot had been a resident in the area.

Authorities have not released the names of either the suspect or the victim.

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Idaho Police said in a release that the officer who fired his weapon has since been placed on administrative leave.

The officer had been wearing an activated body camera at the time of the shooting and the footage is currently being reviewed by the Eastern Idaho Critical Incident Task Force (CITF), according to authorities.

The CITF has launched an investigation into the fatal incident, which police say may take several weeks to complete.

"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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