An independent review of a fatal officer-involved shooting in southwest Boise has deemed the shooting justified.
Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies Neil Daigle and Keith James shot and killed Lee H. Easter, 53, in his home on the 10000 block of W. Spring River Street on April 28.
Chris Topmiller, chief deputy of the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Criminal Division, reviewed the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force investigation into the shooting death and determined the shooting to be in self-defense because Easter would not drop his gun, which was pointed at a deputy.
The Critical Incident Task Force does an independent investigation of all uses of lethal force by law enforcement in Ada County. Boise Police was the lead investigative agency for this incident; the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the report.
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Ada County Sheriff’s Office said Topmiller found that Easter “posed a threat of death or serious injury to both Deputy James and Daigle,” and the officers’ decision to fire was “done lawfully within the context of self-defense.”
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal investigation and determined both deputies correctly followed all policies – including use of force – during the incident.Here’s what happened, according to Ada County Sheriff’s Office:
Deputies were sent to the home in the Five Mile Road/La Grange Street neighborhood after dispatchers got a 911 call at 10:48 p.m. April 28 from a man who told dispatchers someone was in his house and then hung up.Dispatchers called back and the man answered, put the phone down and left the line open.
The first deputies to arrive found the front door open and heard someone upstairs, so they went into the house to investigate.
Around this time, another man called 911 and said he was concerned about the mental state of the person inside the home. He told dispatchers that he had talked to the man and believed he might be suicidal. He also told dispatchers the man had a gun.
Several minutes passed as the deputies waited at the bottom of the stairs and asked whoever was upstairs to come down. The man called down, saying, “It’s too late.” That’s when Easter moved down the stairs, pointing a handgun at the two deputies.
Both responded by shooting Easter, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither deputy was hurt.
This was the first critical incident for both Daigle, who has been with the sheriff’s office since 2010, and James, who joined in 2015.