Canyon County

Officers won’t be charged in death of Homedale man

Body cam captures shooting of Homedale man

Homedale Police Department Officer Chris Steed and Owyhee County Sheriff's Deputy Terry McGrew on Dec. 26 responded to a house in Homedale where 38-year-old Gilbert Heredia refused commands to put down a handgun and fired a shot. Steed shot four t
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Homedale Police Department Officer Chris Steed and Owyhee County Sheriff's Deputy Terry McGrew on Dec. 26 responded to a house in Homedale where 38-year-old Gilbert Heredia refused commands to put down a handgun and fired a shot. Steed shot four t

A Homedale police officer and Owyhee County sheriff’s deputy who shot a man six times outside his home during a confrontation last winter have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

Gilberto Heredia, 38, was shot on Dec. 26. Four children, ages 5 to 9, were inside his house at the time. They were not injured.

Heredia died in a Boise hospital six days later, after his family took him off life support.

Homedale Officer Chris Steed is an 11-year veteran of the department, and Owyhee County Deputy Terry McGrew has been with the sheriff’s office for four years. Both were wearing body cameras and the investigation included review of that video.

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office was the lead agency for the Critical Incident Task Force investigating the shooting, which lasted about 2 1/2 minutes.

Some of the key findings:

▪  Heredia, a felon, was armed with a 9 mm handgun and there were numerous loaded weapons inside his house. He had a camera system set up so that he could see who was at the front door from his bedroom.

▪  Heredia fired once and the spent cartridge jammed. That bullet was not recovered.

▪  Heredia had marijuana and methamphetamine in his system at the time of the altercation with police, who were there to ensure that the children in the house were safe and transferred without incident to the care of his girlfriend.

Sheriff Kieran Donahue provided a detailed overview of the shooting at a press conference in Caldwell Tuesday morning.

Police were summoned to Heredia’s house for a welfare check on Dec. 25, the day before the confrontation. Heredia’s father and girlfriend were concerned about Heredia because he’d been up all night talking about harming himself with a shotgun.

The officers spoke with him for several minutes and determined that he was OK. The next day, Heredia’s girlfriend asked to meet with officers to discuss getting support while going to pick up her children at Heredia’s house. She told officers that there were weapons in the residence, and Heredia often carried one.

The officers went to Heredia’s house at 316 W. Montana St. in Homedale that afternoon.

Heredia was slow in answering the door. When he came out, he quickly put his hands in his pockets. When officers asked if there were weapons in his car or house, he told them “just knives.” Asked if he was carrying weapons, he said “just tools.”

When asked if they could pat him down, he said he wouldn’t willingly submit to it. He then admitted he was “strapped to the gills,” indicating he was carrying a firearm, Donahue said.

Heredia pulled out a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and the officers shouted at him to put the weapon down. McGrew ordered him to put the weapon down at least four times. Heredia pointed his weapon at McGrew and the deputy opened fire with his .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

McGrew fired five times. Steed also fired his gun, a total of four times.

McGrew retrieved his medical bag from his patrol vehicle and tried to render aid to Heredia, while Steed tended to Heredia’s brother and the children inside the residence.

When police searched Heredia’s house, they found marijuana, methamphetamine, hypodermic needles, a loaded and unsecured 7.62 mm assault rifle, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and additional ammunition.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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