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12 officers exchange fire with armed driver

UPDATED: Mon., June 23, 2014, 11:50 a.m.

Twelve police officers from four agencies exchanged gunfire with an armed driver early Sunday in Post Falls after the man fled a traffic stop in Coeur d’Alene, investigators said today.

Marcus A. Rael, 24, of Glendale, Arizona, was shot and taken to Kootenai Health, where he is listed in stable condition today.

Rael fired on police at the Spokane Street overpass, about 5 miles east of the state line, around 2 a.m. Sunday, and officers returned fire.

Six Coeur d’Alene Police officers, three Post Falls Police officers, two Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies and one Idaho State Police trooper exchanged gunfire with Rael, the sheriff’s office said. All of the officers were placed on paid administrative leave, and their names will be released later, the sheriff’s office said.

No officers were injured.

Rael first was pulled over on East Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene and fled the scene in his pickup truck, investigators said. Officers pursued him from the Sherman Street exit westbound to the Spokane Street interchange in Post Falls.

“The driver, for reasons yet to be determined, stopped his vehicle and began to exchange gunfire with multiple law enforcement personnel from four agencies,” Lt. Stu Miller of the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

North Idaho’s Critical Incident Task Force, with oversight from the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, is processing evidence collected at the scene of the shooting, which closed I-90’s westbound lanes for most of Sunday.

Further details of the shootout are not being released at this time, Miller said, due to the “large, complex nature of the incident and to ensure the integrity of the investigation.”

A man who shared the same last name and home address of Marcus Rael was killed in a freeway shootout with police in Tempe, Ariz., in March.

Andrew J. Rael, 25, an ex-convict with a long criminal history, was suspected of killing a tow truck driver and a convenience store clerk before he opened fire on police with an assault rifle on March 10. Two officers and an armed security guard returned fire, killing him, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.