Officers involved in Boise Foothills shooting deemed justified

Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 19:38:14-04

The Blaine County Prosecutor has determined that the Boise Police officers involved in a shooting in the Hulls Gulch area of the Boise foothills were completely justified when they shot and killed Benjamin Barnes on March 18, 2017.

“The officers utilized lawful legal force in reaction to a deadly threat when Benjamin Barnes pointed a semi-automatic handgun at them and discharged several rounds towards the officers after officers gave verbal commands to come out of the bushes and show his hands. The officers were essentially without protective cover when Barnes began shooting at them while being approximately 50 yards away. The actions of the Boise police officers in shooting Benjamin C. Barnes were completely justified in order to neutralize the lethal threat that he (Barnes) presented to not only the police officers but to citizens who may have unwittingly come upon the scene.” -Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim J. Thomas

On March 18, 2017, Boise Police was sent to the Hulls Gulch area in the Boise Foothills around 8:15 a.m, when witnesses said a man pulled out a gun while he yelled at a woman about her dog being off-leash. About an hour and a half later, Boise Police received another call that a dog, named Moses, had been shot by a man in the foothills and that the suspect also pointed the gun at the dog’s owner. Officers were finally able to find a man matching Barnes’s description and wearing similar clothing. He was hiding in the bushes and officers gave loud audible commands to Barnes to come out and that he was under arrest. That's when officers say Barnes begin to fire shots towards them. Officers returned fire and fatally wounded the suspect.

“This was a very dangerous situation for our officers and for the community, my deepest thanks go out to the officers who put themselves in the line of fire to protect our citizens,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones. “While our hearts go out to both Barnes’ and Moses’ family for their losses, we are grateful no additional members of the community or officers were injured or killed.”

“We would also like to thank a number of agencies who assisted with this critical incident. Thank you to the Boise Fire Department and Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies for helping us restore safety in the foothills and secure a very large scene.  We would also like to thank the Meridian Police Department for their complete and thorough investigation as well as the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney for their work,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones.