Crime

Man threatened Foothills trail users, shot 1 dog before firing at officers, police say

Boise Police Chief: Suspect and dog dead in Hulls Gulch shooting

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said a suspect is dead after shooting and killing a family's dog in the Foothills on Saturday morning, March 18, 2017. Details were scarce immediately after the shooting.
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Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said a suspect is dead after shooting and killing a family's dog in the Foothills on Saturday morning, March 18, 2017. Details were scarce immediately after the shooting.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones confirmed witness accounts that a man killed during a police shooting had threatened Foothills trail users and their dogs, and actually shot one dog Saturday morning.

Bones, speaking at about 1 p.m., said officers got calls Saturday about a suspicious man threatening dogs and people in the area of Hulls Gulch. Shortly, another call reported that the man had actually shot a dog. That dog was killed, Bones said.

Police found the man and confronted him, at which point he shot at the officers, Bones said. Those officers returned fire. No officers were injured, police said.

Police said shortly after 12:30 p.m. that the man was found dead at the scene. Prior to that, they had said he was “contained” near the Lower Hulls Gulch trailhead. Bones later said the scene was located about a mile up Kestrel Trail from the parking lot near the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center.

It’s not yet known how many officers were involved or who the man was. There’s no indication that officers were hurt, and while Bones couldn’t confirm that no other people were shot at, no witnesses have suggested that to be the case.

Bones emphasized that the situation is over and the trails are safe, though the area around the shooting may stay closed through Sunday morning while the investigation proceeds.

The Meridian Police Department will lead a Critical Incident Task Force examination of the shooting. Boise Fire and the Ada County Sheriff’s Office also helped respond to the shooting.

Also uncertain is the motivation for the confrontations. The man “seemed particularly upset” with people who had dogs, Bones said.

“Our thoughts go out to the family that lost the dog today,” Bones said.

A shooting on a busy day along a popular trail carries extra complications.

“Obviously it’s a busy day, lot of people in the Foothills,” Bones said. That meant many people for police to try to get out of the area and to safety.

BPD used Ada County’s emergency notification system to alert people through their phones of the situation. (Not signed up for that system? You can do so here.)

And the crime scene “could easily take all night” for investigators to go through, he said. That’s the reason the trails may not fully reopen until sometime Sunday.

Bones emphasized that his information was extremely preliminary. More details may emerge as the investigation proceeds.

Trails in the Hulls Gulch area begin off of 8th Street and connect to Camel’s Back Park.

This is a breaking news report. Check back for more details as we learn more.

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