Deputies cleared in fatal shooting of man who fired at Kuna officer hours earlier

Ramon Milanez was in this stolen Volkswagen CC when it was rammed by police. Police opened fire on the vehicle. Milanez died at the scene.
Ramon Milanez was in this stolen Volkswagen CC when it was rammed by police. Police opened fire on the vehicle. Milanez died at the scene.

Ramon Milanez was shot and killed by police on the morning of Jan. 24 as he backed out of a Kuna garage in a stolen car.

It was the 32-year-old Nampa man’s last attempt to elude police following a six-hour neighborhood search and standoff. The search began after Milanez shot eight to 10 times at a Kuna police officer who attempted to pull him over on Linder Road at 4 a.m., according to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. No bullets hit that officer.

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs has determined all eight officers with the Ada Metro SWAT Team who fired at Milanez were justified in their use of lethal force, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Friday afternoon.

Though he was armed earlier, Milanez did not have a gun at the time he was shot by police.

The officers involved included Ada County deputies Jeremy Byington, Raul Garcia, Ron Santucci, Cory Feldman and D.J. Rupert; Cpl. David Leavitt and Officer Luis Gutierrez with Boise police; and a Meridian officer whose name has not been released.

Loebs was out of town Friday afternoon and could not be reached to answer questions about the shooting and his findings.

“All the officers ‘had legitimate fears for their safety, the safety of their fellow officer, and the safety of the general public because of Milanez’s actions,’ ” Loebs wrote, according to the release.

An Ada County sheriff’s spokesman said he could not answer questions about the incident or Loebs’ findings until after the Sheriff’s Office finishes its internal investigation. Boise and Meridian police are also conducting their own investigations.

Police searched for Milanez in a Kuna neighborhood after finding his abandoned BMW. At 10:30 a.m., they found him hiding in a house in the 400 block of East Black Hawk Drive.

They made sure the home was evacuated, set up a perimeter and sent a robot into the house. Video from a camera on the robot showed Milanez walking around the house with what appeared to be a gun in his hand, according to Loebs, who reviewed all the video from the officer-involved shooting.

At 11 a.m., Milanez backed into the driveway. An armored car parked nearby rammed the vehicle.

Two witnesses to the incident, including one of the people who lived in the house that Milanez broke into, told the Statesman in January that Milanez fired on police before they opened fire.

But the third-party investigation into the shooting revealed that Milanez did not have a gun on him — his two guns were found by a backpack that he dropped near the house he broke into, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

At the time, Milanez was wanted on three warrants out of Canyon County: possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Idaho State Police led the Critical Incident Task Force’s investigation into the shooting.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller