Officer Adam Crist of the Boise Police Department stood silently at an angle to a wooden fence in the Depot Bench neighborhood and waited in the darkness.
Just earlier, a man had fled from a traffic stop nearby. Now, that man boosted himself up the 6-foot-tall fence. Crist waited until he saw the man reach over the top of the fence with a gun, then shined a flashlight at him and barked out an order.
“I had my pistol pointed at him and I told him ‘You drop that gun!” Crist recalled during a court hearing last week. “As soon as I started to challenge him, he looked directly at me and, at the same time, he pointed his gun at me.”
In that instant, Crist told Deputy Ada County Prosecutor Brian Naugle, he felt he was going to die.
Police say the man with the gun was Patrick Zavala, 37. After Zavala allegedly fired at Crist, the officer responded by firing what he believed was eight to 10 shots from his Glock .45-caliber pistol, according to his testimony during the hearing.
The confrontation took place just before midnight on Oct. 26 in the backyard of a house on Peasley Street.
Zavala was shot in the right thigh by Crist, and in the left hand by his own gun. He spent five days in a Boise hospital recuperating from his wounds before he was taken to the Ada County Jail.
He was charged with use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and three misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing officers.
At the hearing on Thursday, Ada County Magistrate Theresa Gardunia found there was sufficient evidence to send the case to district court and a jury trial. Also that day, one of the resisting charges was upgraded to felony assault on a law enforcement officer.
Zavala will be arraigned on Thursday before Judge Lynn Norton.
Zavala was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by Officer Jordan McCarthy. Before McCarthy got to the vehicle, Zavala bolted from the car with a gun in his right hand and ran through a gravel parking lot outside an apartment complex, according to testimony. Zavala was the same person, McCarthy said, who had fled from him the night before after a similar traffic stop.
“As soon as he opened the door, I knew who it was,” said McCarthy, who had his patrol car spotlight focused on the vehicle. “I yelled ‘Stop’ numerous times.”
Another officer, Jason Green, told him numerous times to drop the weapon, McCarthy said.
As McCarthy and Green tailed Zavala, they paused at a narrow alley that they felt could be dangerous to walk into if Zavala was waiting to ambush them. Meanwhile, Crist spotted Zavala, watched him jump a fence and then drove ahead of where he thought Zavala might end up.
After the shooting, McCarthy found Zavala “bleeding pretty heavily” to his right leg. The officer applied a tourniquet amid protests from Zavala.
“Let me bleed out. Take it off. I don’t want it on me,” Zavala told him, McCarthy said.
Both McCarthy and a woman who was with Zavala the previous night said he told them he didn’t want to go back to jail.
Zavala remained in the Ada County Jail Monday on $1 million bail.