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Rancher’s memorial service set for Sunday, ‘peaceful protest’ for Saturday

lbergevin@idahostatesman.com

Organizers have scheduled a gathering for noon Saturday at Council Elementary School, 202 Michigan Ave.

“We want to do this protest to show that we support the Yantis family. We want everybody to know that we all deserve to live in a safe, peaceful environment where police are there to protect us,” said event organizer Becca Barrow.

“We are in shock that this happened in little, tiny Council, Idaho. I would never have guessed that something like this would happen there. It bothers a lot of us that it did.”

Jack Yantis was shot to death by two Adams County sheriff’s deputies Nov. 1 on U.S. Highway 95 in front of his ranch, about 6 miles north of Council. Two members of Yantis’ family witnessed the shooting. They told the Statesman he was shot by two deputies for no apparent reason when he was about to shoot a bull he owned that had been hit by a Subaru station wagon.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has not commented publicly on the specifics of the shooting. Idaho State Police are investigating the incident, and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office will serve any necessary role as prosecutor in the case.

Barrow, who was born and raised in Council and now lives in the Treasure Valley, said organizers are requesting that no guns or other weapons be brought to the event.

Barrow said that if anyone does show up armed or starts to cause trouble, the event will be shut down.

“The local people are in favor of that. We do not want it to escalate to where the police have to be involved in any way,” she said. “I am going to have my 19-month-old son and my 3-month-old daughter there. It is going to be peaceful and if it is not, we are not going to do it. That is not the intention.”

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A public memorial service for Jack Yantis will start at 2 p.m. Sunday at Council High School, 101 E. Bleeker St.

A GoFundMe account to raise money for the Yantis family’s expenses had raised more than $10,700 by Monday.

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Jack Yantis’ wife, Donna, was standing about 20 feet away from her husband when deputies shot and killed him.

Shortly after the shooting she suffered a heart attack and was transported to a Boise hospital where she remains hospitalized.

In a videotaped statement made from her hospital bed, Donna Yantis, 63, gave this account of the incident:

“On Nov. 1 at approximately 7 p.m. Adams County Sheriff’s Department called and told us there was a bull that got hit and they wanted us on the scene and he was mad. So we went down to check it out. I took Jack his gun so he could put the bull out of its misery. When he walked up there and was gonna put him down the officer came up and jerked him back almost off his feet. I don’t know what they told him, but they just opened fire and shot him. And then they threatened me and my nephew, Rowdy Paradis, threw us on the middle of Highway 95, searched us and handcuffed us and wouldn’t let us go take care of Jack.”

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell

Katy Moeller contributed.

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