West Ada

Meridian man was shot, killed after pulling gun on police. The gun was fake

A Meridian man was shot and killed by police on June 23 after brandishing this replica revolver.
A Meridian man was shot and killed by police on June 23 after brandishing this replica revolver. Courtesy of Meridian Police Department

The Ada County Coroner's Office on Tuesday identified a Meridian man who was shot and killed by police over the weekend after pulling a gun, which turned out to be fake, on two officers.

Robert Lyle Barton, 48, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the coroner's report.

According to a Meridian Police Department press release, officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call on Saturday, June 23, in the 800 block of Newport Street. A man reportedly was grabbing knives and destroying the home.

When police arrived, they found Barton in the backyard of a residence. He reportedly told officers that he was "not going back to jail" before pulling a gun from the waistband of his pants. One officer fired a Taser and the other fired a gun, striking Barton in the chest. Barton was pronounced dead after being transported to Saint Alphonsus in Boise.

Meridian Police Department on Tuesday released more information on Barton's firearm, which turned out to be a replica of a Western-style revolver.

"This is truly a tragic situation, one no officer wants to be put in. We may never know why Barton chose to do what he did," Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey said in the release.

The officer who fired his weapon has been with the Meridian Police Department for 11.5 years and worked as a detention deputy for eight years prior. The officer who fired his Taser is an 11-year veteran of the Meridian Police Department and has a total of 21 years in law enforcement.

The case is being investigated by a Critical Incident Task Force led by the Boise Police Department. Meridian Police Department said it currently has no plans to release the names of the officers involved in the shooting.

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