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Officer cleared of criminal charges in shooting

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 17:37:45-05

Boise Police Department officer Adam Crist will not face any criminal charges after shooting a suspect involved in a foot chase near Peasley Street and Rose Hill in 2015.

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs investigated the incident which was submitted by the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force following the shooting.

Prosecutor Loebs submitted his findings to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office which was turned over to the Boise Police Department for an internal review.

The suspect, Patrick Anthony Zavala, faces five felony charges including felony assault on an officer following the October 26th, 2015 incident.

Zavala was stopped by Boise Police due to suspicious activity and fled his vehicle after an officer recognized Zavala as a suspect who had fled a traffic stop the night before.

The foot pursuit ended in a backyard where Officer Crist realized that  Zavala was carrying a small handgun.

Officer Crist ordered Zavala to drop the weapon and give up, but Zavala refused and instead pointed the gun at Officer Crist, according to Prosecutor Loebs.

Officer Crist fired several times at Zavala which caused him to fall onto the other side of the fence. Knowing that Zavala was still armed with approaching officers headed toward him, Officer Crist fired more shots through the fence.

Zavala was taken to a hospital and treated for his wounds. Following a search of the scene, investigators discovered one spent bullet casing from the handgun that Zavala was carrying at the time of the shooting.

Zavala is facing unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon (F), assault on a correctional officer (F), use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony enhancement (F), two counts of resisting and obstructing officers (F) and persistent violator enhancement (F).

Zavala is to appear for a pre-trial conference on May 26, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

Statement from the Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs in a letter to the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

Letter dated February 25, 2016:

Pursuant to the standing agreement between our offices, I have reviewed the files submitted to me by the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force regarding the above referenced incident.

I have determined that no criminal charges should be filed against Officer Adam Crist as a result of the incident on October 27, 2015 in which Officer Crist discharged his weapon resulting in the injury of Patrick Anthony Zavala.

After a review of all the available evidence, including medical reports, witness interviews, crime scene photographs, etc., I have concluded that Mr. Zavala's injury was the result of Officer Christ's lawful use of deadly force in the attempt to defend himself, other law enforcement officers, and members of the public from Mr. Zavala who was then fleeing from police, aiming a firearm at police, and ultimately firing his weapon in an exchange with Officer Crist.

 

Detailed information follows:

On October 27, 2015 at approximately 12:00 a.m. Boise Police Officers made a traffic stop on Peasely St. near Rose Hill St. in Boise, ID. The passenger in the car, Patrick Anthony Zavala, was a suspect from an incident the night before in which he aimed a firearm at a victim and fled from police after a traffic stop.

After police pulled over the car in which Zavala was riding, he fled on foot and was pursued by police, including Boise Police Officer Adam Crist.

As Zavala fled, running through residential backyards and over fences, Officer Christ pursued. During that pursuit Officer Crist saw that Zavala was carrying a small silver handgun in his right hand.

As Zavala was scaling a fence with gun in hand, Officer Crist ordered Zavala to drop the weapon and give himself up. Zavala refused, instead pointing his gun at Officer Crist. Officer Crist, believing Zavala was about to shoot him, fired at Zavala. Zavala fell over the fence. Officer Crist saw that Zavala was still holding his gun. Other Officers were converging on Zavala from the other side of the fence. Seeing that Zavala, still armed, was a threat to approaching police officers, Officer Crist fired more shots through the fence until Zavala dropped his gun.

Officers reached Zavala and treated him for wounds to his hand and thigh. Zavala was taken to the hospital where he recovered from his wounds.

The Ada County Critical Incident Task Force searched the area where Zavala had fallen and found his .380 caliber Lorcin black and silver semi-automatic pistol and one expended .380 caliber shell casing, indicating that Zavala had fired at least one shot during the altercation with Officer Crist.

The state of the scene and the interviews with citizens and other police involved in the incident were consistent with Officer Crist's account of the event.