The 14-year-old, who reportedly shot himself Friday evening after officers spent hours trying to talk him out of a friend’s house, was pronounced dead the next morning, but the Ada County Coroner’s Office did not announce he had died until Monday afternoon.
Word of the boy’s apparent suicide rocked his former classmates and teachers at Kuna schools, which he had attended until last February, when he withdrew from eighth grade to be home-schooled, Kuna School District communications administrator David Reinhart said.
"There certainly are some students who are troubled by it, and teachers who had taught him and worked with him who are noticeably upset," Reinhart said Monday afternoon. “Even the kids who didn’t know him are feeling it today. He will be greatly missed.”
Counselors and psychologists were on hand Monday at Crimson Point Elementary and Kuna Middle School, where the boy attended classes, and Kuna High School, which his former classmates now attend, Reinhart said. The boy had attended Kuna schools since he was in kindergarten, he said.
The Idaho Statesman generally does not identify people who have committed suicide. The coroner listed the teen’s cause and manner of death as pending further examination. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 a.m. Saturday, but his body remained at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on life-support equipment Monday, awaiting completion of the organ-donation process, a coroner’s office spokeswoman said. The coroner’s office listed a Boise address for the teen.
Suspected in an arson behind an LDS church in July, the 14-year-old had reportedly taken two guns and a knife from a family member Thursday and left home, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office said Friday. Concerned for his safety, Kuna officers searched for the boy and got a tip about 1:30 p.m. that he was at a friend’s house. All of the residents left the house at officers’ request, and neighbors were alerted to stay away from the home because an armed person was inside, , the sheriff’s office said.
During negotiations with police and crisis negotiators, the boy “told them he didn’t want to come out, that he didn’t want to go to the hospital or go to jail,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “Other times, he seemed like he wanted to come out. “Then he stopped answering the phone or texting. Officers heard the sound of a single gunshot from inside around 5:45 p.m.”
The boy’s death was devastating for his family, friends and others who knew him. It also took a toll on the officers and others who tried to prevent the fatal outcome, Kuna Police Chief Justin Dusseau said Monday. The investigation into the incident continues.
“We are checking on officers and staff who helped on this call and offering them support,” Ada County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Andrea Dearden said, noting that Kuna police, other divisions of the sheriff’s office, Meridian police and Kuna paramedics all helped with the call.
"Our thoughts are with the family,” Chief Dusseau said in a written statement. “Police and paramedics aren't just first responders. They are people who care. This was an emotional situation for all of us.”
Nate Poppino contributed
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN CRISIS
Call 211 for the Idaho Careline or 911 for emergencies.
Call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
The crisis line for Ada, Boise, Elmore, Valley counties is (208) 334-0808.
The crisis line for Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette and Washington counties is (208) 459-0092.