KUNA (AP) — A prosecutor has determined that the eight law enforcement officers who fired shots at a 32-year-old southwestern Idaho man who earlier shot at a police officer were justified in using lethal force.
Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs announced his findings Friday after reviewing reports by an Ada County Critical Incident Task Force about the fatal shooting.
Ramon Milanez of Nampa died Jan. 24 after members of the Ada Metro SWAT team opened fire as Milanez tried to back out of a garage in a stolen vehicle at Kuna home he’d broken into.
Investigators said that Milanez didn’t have a gun at the time he was shot by police, but that his two guns were found with a backpack he dropped near the house he broke into.
The officers “had legitimate fears for their safety, the safety of their fellow officers, and the safety of the general public because of Milanez’s actions,” Loebs wrote.
Authorities say that Milanez earlier that day about 4 a.m. fired up to 10 times at a Kuna police officer who attempted to pull him over. The officer wasn’t injured.
Police later that morning found his abandoned BMW and about 10:30 a.m. found him hiding in a house in Kuna he’d broken into. A family with children in the home escaped.
Police sent a robot with a camera into the house that police say showed Milanez walking around with what Loebs said appeared to be a gun in his hand.
At 11 a.m., police say, Milanez got into a car at the residence and backed into the driveway. But an armored vehicle prevented the car from leaving, and police opened fire.