Friday was graduation day for Coeur d’Alene High School, so when neighbors heard a string of rapid-fire popping sounds in their quiet neighborhood they assumed it was celebratory fireworks.
Shortly after 9 p.m. Friday, Coeur d’Alene police fatally shot a man in his 20s in his neighbor’s backyard in the 400 block of Dragonfly Drive. Neighbors said police had been called because the man, who was believed to be drunk, had gotten into a loud argument with a family member.
“It was a horrible evening. You could just hear the family wailing,” neighbor Jennifer Robinett said of the shooting’s aftermath.
The Idaho State Police, which is investigating the incident, said late Saturday that Coeur d’Alene police were called to the resident’s home because of a “domestic disturbance.”
By the time officers arrived, the man who would later be shot, left the address. Police were told that he was armed. Officers found him on the next-door neighbor’s backyard, second-story deck, ISP said in a news release.
One of the neighbors who lives at the residence saw the man with a gun and “secured himself and the other occupants in a back room,” the news release said.
ISP said that when the man was confronted by police “shots were fired.” The news release does not specify if the man fired or only officers.
Robinett said her son grew up with the younger brother of the man who was shot. They comforted the younger brother in the street when he collapsed after hearing the news. “We embraced him, my son and I,” she said. “He was just bawling.”
The man said police told him his brother had pulled a gun on an officer and may have fired a shot, Robinett said. Her family knew the young man who died, she said. “He was always really quiet,” Robinett said. “He was never the type to cause any trouble.”
Several neighbors said the man who died had a young child.
Kimberly Lucero was tucking her daughter into bed when she heard the rapid succession of gunshots. “There was a lot,” she said. Lucero said one bullet hit the house next to hers, which is across the street from where the shooting occurred. “It could have gone through our house,” she said.
ISP said late Saturday that it was not yet releasing the names of the officers or the man who was shot. Coeur d’Alene police officers typically wear body cameras.