The Idaho Attorney General’s office has agreed to serve as special prosecutor in the case of the shooting death of a 62-year-old Council rancher by two sheriff’s deputies after the rancher’s bull was struck by a car. The death of Jack Yantis has stunned the small community of Council, especially after Yantis’ family – including his wife, Donna, who witnessed the shooting and then suffered a heart attack – told the Idaho Statesman that there was no shootout, and the deputies interrupted and shot Yantis as he prepared to shoot the injured bull with a rifle.
“I stood 10 feet away and watched two deputies escalate the situation and needlessly kill a man,” said Yantis’ nephew, Rowdy Paradis, who also witnessed the shooting. The family’s story was detailed in a Sunday article by Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell; you can read it here.
The incident, which happened after dark, began with the crash of a Subaru station wagon on U.S. 95 into the bull near the driveway of Yantis’ ranch; and both people in the car were injured and had to be extricated. The injured bull began charging emergency responders as they worked; dispatchers summoned Yantis to the scene, calling him as the family was finishing dinner on that Sunday evening.
You can read the latest AP report on the case here, and the Statesman’s latest story here, which reports that a town hall meeting is planned for tonight - the news media is not invited - and a peaceful protest has been set for Saturday; Yantis’ memorial service is set for Sunday. The Idaho State Police are investigating the incident.