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Coroner identifies Lee Easter as Ada County man killed in shooting

A 54-year-old man who reportedly confronted two Ada County Sheriff’s deputies with a handgun was shot and killed late Thursday night at a home in the 10000 block of W. Spring River Drive in Meridian.
A 54-year-old man who reportedly confronted two Ada County Sheriff’s deputies with a handgun was shot and killed late Thursday night at a home in the 10000 block of W. Spring River Drive in Meridian.

Two Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies shot and killed Lee Easter in his house just south of Boise after the 53-year-old man confronted the deputies with a handgun late Thursday night, according to news releases from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office and coroner.

How common are officer-involved shootings in Idaho? Here’s a recent report on the issue in Idaho. And here’s a quick look at the state’s fatal shootings since Jan. 1, 2015.

Easter was pronounced dead right after the incident in the 10000 block of West Spring River Street. The Ada County coroner did not release any more details, saying Friday afternoon that the autopsy is ongoing. No other information is expected to be released until Monday.

Neither of the deputies was hurt. Neil Daigle and Keith James have been with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office since 2010 and 2015, respectively. Neither has been involved in a critical incident before, officials said.

The Ada County Critical Incident Task Force, led by the Boise Police Department, is investigating Easter’s death.

BPD spokesperson Haley Williams said the only information they anticipate releasing will be the final investigation report, which could take months to complete.

Investigators are still determining how many shots were fired and whether Easter fired his weapon.

Here’s what happened, according to the 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. Thursday. A man told dispatchers that there was someone in his house and then hung up.

Dispatchers called back and the man answered, put the phone down and left the line open.

The deputies arrived and heard someone upstairs, so they went inside to investigate.

Around this time, another man called 911 and said he was concerned about the mental state of the person inside the house. 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 deputies.

Both deputies fired their weapons, hitting him.

The deputies moved Easter outside, but paramedics were unable revive him.

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