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FBI, Idaho agencies investigating death of DUI suspect in Owyhee County near Nevada

FBI, Idaho agencies investigating death of DUI suspect in Owyhee County near Nevada

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Idaho State Police

DUCK VALLEY RESERVATION — The FBI and the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office are among the agencies investigating an incident in southern Owyhee County that left a man dead last week and an Idaho State Police trooper on administrative leave.

On July 9, a 911 call was made reporting a possible DUI case involving a man driving an RV near the Idaho-Nevada state line on Idaho 51 on the Duck Valley Reservation, according to a news release from ISP.

An ISP trooper was called to help federal agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs with the call. The driver — a 57-year-old Nevada resident whose name was not released by authorities — was pulled over and given field sobriety tests, which he reportedly failed. Because the alleged DUI was taking place on a state highway with a nontribal person, the Bureau of Indian Affairs contacted ISP to help.

When the trooper arrived, the DUI investigation continued, according to the release. Officers found “additional evidence” that led to the driver being taken into custody.

According to ISP, the man was allowed to re-enter the RV because he said he needed to care for his dog — the only other occupant of the RV — before being taken to jail. It’s not clear whether he had been officially arrested or handcuffed at that point.

Once inside the RV, the man accessed a handgun, which he fired once, shooting himself, according to the release. The man died at the scene.

The trooper witnessed the shot, and a BIA agent was just outside the RV when the shot was fired. Neither the trooper nor the agent fired their service weapons, according to the release, and neither was injured during the incident.

It was not immediately clear why the man was allowed back into the RV.

In an email Wednesday, Idaho State Police spokesperson Lynn Hightower said an internal review will be conducted to determine whether or not the trooper followed department protocols and procedures during the incident. Hightower did not provide any further information regarding the case, saying the matter is still under investigation.

ISP said the event began its critical incident protocols, with an inquiry into the shooting underway. As per those protocols, the trooper was placed on administrative leave. ISP, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI are all investigating, the release said.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be screened by the Owyhee County prosecutor for review.

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