Officer Tarek Hassani is in the clear.
Hassani, of the Filer Police Department, was absolved of any wrongdoing in the late-spring shooting of Markcus May on Thursday at the Twin Falls County Courthouse.
Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower and Deputy Prosecutor Shawna Dunn released the findings based on their independent investigation of the events surrounding May’s apprehension on May 29.
“(Hassani’s) actions were justifiable,” Dunn said.
May, 24, faces four charges of aggravated assault, one charge of burglary and one charge of eluding a police officer. He is accused of shooting James Lambert, who was wounded in the lower right leg, two days prior to his capture.
The investigation’s results revealed more details of May’s capture, which included a high-speed pursuit and shooting. It was noted that no police videos recorded the shooting.
According to the investigation’s findings, May’s mother contacted police to say that May was attempting “suicide by cop.” A friend also relayed information that May had left his mother’s house with a gun and that they couldn’t get him to surrender it.
He was also reported to have a knife and crowbar.
May’s friend also told an emergency dispatch worker that May said “he had shot at a demon and the bullets bounced off of him.”
Officers located May driving along U.S. Highway 93 in Twin Falls County, and he tried to ditch them in a high-speed chase. Spike strips helped eventually bring May’s car to a stop. Hassani approached the car but had trouble seeing inside, as its windows were tinted. Concerned that May would use a weapon or use his car as a weapon, Hassani fired one shot through the driver’s-side front window.
The slug grazed the side of May’s head above his left ear, and according to medical reports, it is still lodged there in his skull. Further medical reports show that at the time of his apprehension May was over the legal limit for blood alcohol content and that he tested positive for methamphetamine.
Although Hassani was not made available for comment on Thursday, Filer Police Chief Tim Reeves said he was happy that Ada County prosecutors agreed with his department’s findings. Reeves added that he is not aware of any pending civil litigation against Hassani or the department.
During the press conference, Dunn held up a binder easily six inches thick that chronicled the details of the investigation, conducted by the Magic Valley Critical Incident Task Force. The report contained emergency dispatch records from the Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center, historical information regarding May, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records, sketches, photographs, medical records and blood toxicology reports.
May remains in custody at the Twin Falls County Jail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in 5th District Court in Twin Falls on Sept. 3.
Bradley Guire may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 735-3380.
TAGS: Markcus May, shooting, Twin Falls County, Buhl, crime