Boise & Garden City

Suspect killed in shootout identified as Marco Romero; vigil set for critically injured officer

Cpl. Chris Davis leaves Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on Saturday, a day after he was wounded in a shootout with a suspect.
Cpl. Chris Davis leaves Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on Saturday, a day after he was wounded in a shootout with a suspect. Boise Police Department

The man who shot two Boise police officers and a police dog Friday was positively identified Monday as Marco Romero, whom police were searching for in connection with a double shooting and a carjacking in Meridian.

Romero, 33, was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds at 3:49 p.m. Friday, the coroner’s office said in a news release.

Two officers were hospitalized. Cpl. Chris Davis was released from the hospital Saturday, and another officer, not yet identified, was critically injured with multiple gunshot wounds.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones put out a video Monday afternoon inviting local children to send get-well cards to the veteran officer who remains in critical condition after a shootout with a suspect Friday afternoon.

A vigil to support that officer will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial, at the Idaho State Police headquarters, 700 S. Stratford Drive in Meridian.

The officer, remains in the hospital and while the Boise Police Department said late Sunday he is showing “slight improvements” daily in his condition, he “faces a long and hard path forward.” Police Chief Bill Bones said the officer, a 17-year veteran, faces months of recovery.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones updates the status of two officers Saturday Nov. 12, 2016 who were shot while apprehending a suspect on the Boise Bench Friday.

By mid-afternoon on Monday, a GoFundMe account set up by the local Fraternal Order of Police had collected nearly $40,000 to assist the officer.

Donations to the Fraternal Order of Police, Treasure Valley Lodge #11 Benevolent Fund, can be made at branches of Mountain West Bank. They can also be mailed to the group at P.O. Box 642, Meridian, ID 83680.

Davis, also a member of the department’s Special Operations Unit, was being shot once during the incident near Emerald and Orchard streets at 3:25 p.m.

Bones said Davis is expected to make a quick and full recovery.

A police dog, Jardo, was also injured in the attack. He was shot through the chest and lost a lung, Bones said. He was treated and released Saturday from WestVet Veterinary Clinic.

On Sunday, a post on a Facebook page dedicated to the Boise Police K9 unit said “his ears are perked and he’s resting comfortably on the couch.” The post went on to say Jardo was in good spirits and was eating well.

Romero died at the scene.

Davis and three other members of the Special Operations Unit fired their weapons during the shootout. They were identified by the Boise Police Department as Detective Brian Holland, Cpl. Norman Carter and Sgt. Loren Hilliard.

The multi-agency Critical Incident Task Force is in charge of the investigation into the shooting. The Garden City Police Department is overseeing the investigation.

Police received a citizen tip at 12:45 p.m. saying a person believed to be Romero was spotted in a car that had been reported carjacked. A second report came in minutes later.

Officers searched for the vehicle in the neighborhood north of Orchard Street and Overland Road. They were aided by bystanders who pointed them in the right direction, the department said.

Officers later found the suspect walking down the street. He took off running through the neighborhood. Officers secured the area of Irving Street near Roosevelt and Wilson, and the Special Operations Unit came to search the area.

Shots rang out after police encountered the suspect, who had been hiding. Neighbors reported hearing at least 10 shots.

Romero was sentenced to three to five years in prison after pleading guilty in a 2012 case in which he ran a red light and struck two cars at the intersection of Ustick and Maple Grove roads. Even though both drivers were injured, one seriously, Romero fled the scene.

He was also ordered to pay $40,063 in restitution.

At sentencing on May 20, 2013, told Ada County District Judge Deborah Bail he was scared and didn’t know what to do, saying it was his first wreck.

“Because of my selfishness, I put a couple of people’s lives in danger,” Romero told the judge in a court recording reviewed Monday by a Statesman reporter. “I’m apologetic for what happened and I would just like to make amends.”

Bail noted that Romero had abused methamphetamine for a long time and had a pattern of meth use and reckless driving.

“You’re very out of control when you’re using,” Bail told him. “You’ve got to focus on your recovery above everything else.”

Romero, whose driver’s license was suspended for a year as a result of his conviction, was released from prison and sent to a Boise halfway house in January after serving time in that case and for drug possession convictions in 2010 and 2012. He left transitional housing and was placed on supervised parole Oct. 3, according to the Idaho Department of Correction.

Police had been searching for Romero since Tuesday, after Meridian police said they believed he shot a man and woman around 10:45 p.m. that evening in the 300 block of East Gruber Avenue.

The two victims, who are both 29, were known to Romero. The woman was shot once in the chest and remains in a local hospital in fair condition, Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea of the Meridian Police Department said Monday.

The man, who was shot twice, was released from the hospital and is recovering, Basterrechea said.

The pair, Romero and several others were hanging out at an apartment when police said Romero opened fire. Witnesses told officers there had not been any conflict before the shooting.

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