A Critical Incident Task Force report found three Kuna police officers were following protocol when they shot a senior citizen from Melba who pointed a BB gun at them from inside his car last fall, according to an Ada County Sheriff’s Office press release.
Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas reviewed the Ada County CITF in the Nov. 10, 2016, shooting and found the officers’ decision to fire at 72-year-old Edgar Hafen “was an appropriate use of deadly force in order to protect themselves and other law enforcement officers” nearby.
Thomas had access to video recordings from the officers’ body cameras, as well as witness interviews, photographs, medical records and more.
An ACSO investigation of the evidence drew the same result: Officers Wes Bunnell, Vishal Sahni and Nolan Zorn followed sheriff’s office policy in the incident, which stretched from Melba to the desert south of Kuna.
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In November, one of Hafen’s family members contacted Canyon County authorities, worried that Hafen would hurt himself. Canyon County sheriff’s deputies found Hafen driving near Melba, where they tried to pull him over. He refused to stop, leading police on a low-speed pursuit that ended near Swan Falls Road and Victory Lane after police used a PIT maneuver.
Bunnell, Sahni and Zornleft their vehicles to approach Hafen, who refused to leave his car. Instead, he pointed a handgun at officers, who fired at him. Hafen then dropped his gun out of his car window.
Police later found that Hafen’s gun was actually a replica 1911 Colt-style semi-automatic pistol BB gun, according to the ACSO release. Hafen said he pointed the BB gun at officers “so they would shoot away,” knowing that it looked like a handgun.
The night of the shooting, Hafen told paramedics who asked if he was attempting suicide that he “didn’t care either way” if he died.
At his arraignment last November, Hafen was unable to speak due to injuries from the shooting, but a prosecutor said the man told investigators he “got what (he) deserved” at one point.
Hafen’s jury trial is scheduled in July for a felony count of assault or battery upon law enforcement.