An Idaho cop shot and killed a man in his own backyard after mistaking him for a suspect.
Per a statement from the Idaho Falls Police Department, a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy first made a traffic stop on a vehicle shortly after midnight on Monday. An occupant of the vehicle, described in an NBC News report as the passenger, fled the scene and made his way into a nearby residential neighborhood.
As Idaho Falls officers and other Bonneville deputies entered the neighborhood, they were informed by a resident that the suspect—identified as Tanner J. N. Shoesmith—was armed and had been spotted running through someone’s yard.
From there, the alleged driver of the vehicle stopped during the initial traffic stop showed police a text they had received from the suspect featuring a GPS location. Police then determined what they thought was the suspect’s location, which has been described as the backyard of a residence one the corner of Tendoy Drive and Syringa Drive. Officers entered that location with weapons drawn, where they claim to have encountered a man “wearing a black shirt armed with a firearm,” instructing him to drop his weapon.
“We do not currently have the answers as to what exactly occurred during these moments,” Chief of Police Bryce Johnson said in a news release. “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.”
Responding officers and deputies, per the press release, determined that the man who was fatally shot was not the suspect. Instead, he was the resident of the address in question. Shoesmith, meanwhile, was later found hiding in a shed in a different backyard. He has been charged in connection with outstanding warrants, as well as resisting arrest.
The officer who shot the man, who is not named in the report, is currently on administrative leave. An investigation is being conducted by the Eastern Idaho Critical Incident Task Force.
“The Idaho Falls Police Department has core values, one of those values being integrity,” Johnson said. “As we define integrity it means being honest and truthful at all times, even when the truths we have to tell may be difficult. Today, the truths we have to share with the community are difficult and incredibly tragic.”