State Watch

Police fatally shoot Idaho man in his backyard after mistaking him for suspect

An Idaho police officer fatally shot a man in his own backyard on Monday after mistaking him for a suspect authorities were searching for and who they believed to be armed, officials say.

The Washington Post reports that Idaho Falls Police officers were looking for Tanner J. N. Shoesmith, 22, when an officer who was tracking him shot a man who partially fit his description.

The man who was fatally shot has yet to be identified, the Post reports, and his family has requested that his name not be shared publicly.

The officer who shot the man in his backyard has been placed on administrative leave and the Eastern Idaho Critical Incident Task Force (CITF) will be conducting an investigation into the incident.

According to a statement from Idaho Falls Police, the incident began when an officer attempted to make a traffic stop. After pulling over, a man fled from the car on foot and was described as wearing a black T-shirt.

While searching for the man, police officers identified him as Shoesmith and found there were multiple warrants out for his arrest, including felony battery and two failure to appear warrants.

Shoesmith allegedly shared his GPS location with another person in the car that he fled, which police officers then used to track him down. After determining that Shoesmith was located in a nearby backyard, police approached and surrounded the residence.

When approaching the backyard, officers reportedly heard yelling and saw a man in a black shirt holding a gun. Officers told the man to drop the weapon, according to the statement.

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

After the unidentified man was shot, officers saw another man running nearby. Shoesmith was reportedly found in the shed of a nearby residence and was arrested. The entire incident, from the traffic stop to Shoesmith’s arrest, occurred within about 20 minutes, according to Idaho Falls Police.

“There are no words to express how heavy our hearts are today,” Johnson said. “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.”

Tags Idaho officer involved shooting

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