EXCLUSIVE: Deputies involved in Jack Yantis shooting talk about the controversial night

Posted at 3:55 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 02:56:40-04

Adams County Sheriff Deputies Brian Wood and Cody Roland sat down with 6 On Your Side to talk about the five minute encounter that left Council rancher Jack Yantis dead.  

Wood and Roland elaborated on their online details following a 9-month investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office. Neither deputy was charged in the shooting death, but a civil suit has been filed by the Yantis family.

During the exclusive interview, Deputy Roland and Deputy Wood said the statement that Donna Yantis made claiming that the officers had murdered her husband is false.

Donna Yantis spoke exclusively with us last December about the night her husband died and claimed the deputies shooting of her husband was not justified.

Deputy Wood said that when Jack Yantis got to the scene of the accident he was angry.

"He told me put that piece of shit away, or get that piece of shit away from my animal, One of those two statements. It was a gruff tone. He was angry," said Wood.

Wood continued that Yantis' rifle was pointed in the direction he was not comfortable with. Pointed toward the accident scene, and escalated the situation

"Initially what drew our attention as a problem was Jack started to line up to shoot the bull from the side which directly behind that would be the truck that it was up against. Then he stepped north and got in front of the bull which was faced towards him. He then turned...and pointed his rifle in such a way that his rifle was parallel to the highway pointed towards all of our first responders, and all of the victims in that car crash and everyone. That's what drew our attention as a very serious safety problem," explained Wood.
"At that moment is where we tried to get him to put that gun down," said Roland.
"I got right up next to him trying to signal to him that he needs to point that somewhere safe, you know, down away from all of these people he was pointing at including including Mrs. Yantis. She got off the 4-wheeler to get out of the way of where he was pointing and that's in her statement. At that point he stepped back and he pulled the rifle across my stomach and then it was at about waist level and as he is stepping he keeps sweeping across all of these people, so I yelled 'point it down, point the weapon down'  and he just kept stepping," said Wood.
Wood went on to say that he believed in that moment that Deputy Roland's actions that night saved Wood's life.
"Mr. Yantis, was again, what appeared to me to be very very angry. He was looking right at me while he was taking these steps and still swinging his rifle in front of everyone. As I am giving him commands he still had that angry look and I started to realize at first this was a safety problem, now I am starting to wonder if this is a violence problem," said Wood. "Something is way different. Something doesn't fit and I don't know what it was, what Deputy Roland said but when he stepped up beside me somewhere to my left he issued a command something drew Mr. Yantis' attention from me, his anger from me to Deputy Roland, and that's when he turned to Deputy Roland shoved the rifle towards him and fired."
When asked why they fired so many shots, Deputy Roland responded "In an instant like that, you are not counting shots. You shoot until that threat is stopped. Whether that gun is on the ground, the person gives up, whatever it may be, you continue to shoot until that threat is over."
As for the both of the deputies futures, both said they are unsure of their next moves, and are weighing their options.  Both are still on leave from the Adams County Sheriff's office.