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Prosecutor: Idaho deputy used justifiable force in shooting

January 23, 2019

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho prosecutor has found that a Bannock County sheriff’s deputy’s use of force was justifiable when he shot a teenager who fled from a traffic stop last year.

The teen, who was unarmed, survived the shooting.

Power County Prosecutor Anson Call II declined to file charges against the deputy after investigators said the deputy believed a colleague’s life could be in danger and that he aimed the shot at the teen’s lower body to reduce the likelihood of a fatal wound.

The names of the deputies involved in the shooting have not been made public. The shooting was investigated by a task force led by the Power County Sheriff’s Office. The Bannock County Prosecutor’s office on Saturday made public documents summarizing the investigation’s findings.

According to those documents, the events unfolded when two Bannock County Sheriff’s deputies pulled over a pickup truck in the town of Chubbuck on Nov. 23 and detected a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

They asked the people inside the pickup to step outside while they searched the vehicle, and that’s when the teen ran. One of the deputies chased him while another deputy stayed behind, and two more deputies arrived a few moments later. One joined the chase.

The two deputies caught up with the teen, scuffled with him and shocked him repeatedly with a stun gun. One deputy was shocked accidentally.

The fourth deputy said he saw the teen’s hands moving toward the face and neck of a deputy. Investigators said in their report that said the deputy feared the teen had access to the weapons on the other deputy’s vest, so he shot the boy in the lower body.

The teen was hospitalized for several days. None of the deputies involved in the shooting were seriously injured.

The Bannock County Prosecutor’s office declined to disclose whether the teen was charged with any crimes. Juvenile court matters are not public in Idaho.

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