Boise & Garden City

29-year-old woman shot, paralyzed in Boise man’s 2016 crime spree has died

Police officers taken to hospital after Boise shooting

Two police officers were taken to the hospital after a shootout Friday on the Boise Bench. The suspect is believed to be Marco Romero, who was being sought in connection with a Tuesday shooting in Meridian that injured two people.
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Two police officers were taken to the hospital after a shootout Friday on the Boise Bench. The suspect is believed to be Marco Romero, who was being sought in connection with a Tuesday shooting in Meridian that injured two people.

A woman who was shot in the chest — and paralyzed — by a Boise man who then went on the run from police last November has died, according to the Ada County coroner and Meridian Police Department.

Melinda Marie Salas, 29, died at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise just after 2 p.m. Thursday.

The coroner is waiting to confirm the cause and manner of her death until toxicology test results return.

Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said Salas was taken to the hospital from a location in Garden City, but he was unaware of the circumstances. He said that if her death is determined to be connected to the shooting last fall, it could be ruled a homicide.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Salas was shot by her friend Marco Romero at a Meridian apartment. Romero also shot Paul Castaneda, 29, in the leg.

Both Salas and Castaneda declined to talk to the Statesman for a story on Romero and the impacts of his crime spree, which included carjacking a vehicle from an 89-year-old Meridian woman, and shooting Boise Police Cpl. Kevin Holtry and Cpl. Chris Davis. Romero shot Holtry five times, leaving him paralyzed; Davis was treated for a leg injury and released from the hospital. Romero died in the confrontation with police.

Romero also shot a police dog named Jardo. The dog, who died five days after the shooting, was hailed as a hero for attacking Romero as he fired on officers. More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Jardo.

Boise Police Cpl. Kevin Holtry talks about the day he was shot multiple times by fugitive Marco Romero in November 2016, and his goals of recovery and return to the force.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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