A Rathdrum man accused of gunning down a Coeur d’Alene police sergeant early Tuesday morning on a quiet residential street will be charged with murder.
Sgt. Greg Moore, a 16-year veteran of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, spent most of the day in critical condition after he was shot in the head by a suspect who then stole the officer’s patrol car and fled. Police said Moore, a husband and father of two, died 5:50 p.m. at Kootenai Health.
“Our community has been wounded, and in some ways it may never be the same,” Mayor Steve Widmyer said Tuesday night. “We have lost a great man. Over time our community will heal, but we will always bear a scar and we will never forget the bravery and sacrifice of Sgt. Greg Moore.”
Jonathan Daniel Renfro, 26, was arrested several hours after the shooting when police cornered him in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Post Falls. Renfro was charged with attempted murder and other felonies Tuesday afternoon and now will face a murder charge.
A Kootenai County magistrate judge set his bail at $2 million.
“This was an unprovoked attack on a law enforcement officer,” Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said at a hearing to set Renfro’s bail. “It was very, very violent, and resulted in a very grave injury to the officer.”
Prosecutors allege that Renfro used his own handgun to shoot Moore in the 2800 block of Wilbur Avenue, in northwest Coeur d’Alene, about 1:35 a.m. He then took the sergeant’s gun off of him as Moore lay on the ground, McHugh said.
“He fled from the scene, leaving the officer lying in the street,” he said.
Renfro, who has a criminal history spanning more than a decade, was charged Tuesday with five felonies – attempted murder, stealing a police car, stealing a police gun, being a convict in possession of a gun, and removing a gun from an officer acting in his official capacity.
“Subsequent to his arrest by law enforcement, he made a number of admissions to having committed the conduct that is charged in the criminal complaint,” McHugh said of Renfro.
Appearing in court, Renfro sat shackled in a red and white jumpsuit, his head bowed for much of the hearing. He was represented by a public defender. The courtroom was packed with court security and police officers.
First District Court Magistrate James Stow asked Renfro if he understood the charges against him, and Renfro said he did.
Moore was on a routine patrol in the Sunshine Meadows neighborhood when he made contact with a suspicious individual, police said. He called the dispatch center with Renfro’s name, “and then there was no further contact from him,” said Lt. Stu Miller of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting in the investigation.
A neighbor who heard the commotion and saw Moore on the ground called police. Officers from several agencies rushed to the scene and began searching for a suspect.
“An officer rang our bell at 2 a.m. and told us to stay inside,” said Chris Weber, who lives at the corner of Wilbur Avenue and Timberlake Loop where the shooting took place. “We’re a little freaked out this guy was walking through our neighborhood last night.”
Ordinarily, Weber said, the neighborhood is “a pretty calm, quiet place.”
Police said Renfro tried to dispose of evidence after allegedly stealing Moore’s car and leading police on a chase that reached speeds up to 125 mph in west Post Falls. A Post Falls officer spotted the stolen police car heading west on West Seltice Way at North McGuire Road and pursued it.
The suspect abandoned the car near a Sysco Spokane Inc. food distribution center close to the Beck Road interchange, and police set up a perimeter and called in a K-9 unit, which tracked the suspect to a nearby Wal-Mart store. Renfro was found hiding under a semitruck trailer, Miller said.
“He was not very compliant,” he said. “The dog subsequently contacted the individual, and he was arrested without further incident.”
Investigators spent hours collecting evidence from the scene of the shooting and the area where the pursuit ended. They collected body camera footage from Moore as well as the video file from his patrol car camera.
Renfro was arrested in 2008 in Reno, Nevada, and extradited to Moscow, Idaho, after he stole a Subaru with a friend, according to court records.
While in jail he hatched a plan to escape, court records say. After a court hearing on the theft case, he kicked a jailer in the leg. The attack in the hallway outside the Latah County Courthouse courtroom failed as the jailer took Renfro to the floor and handcuffed him while his friend made a brief run for freedom. Renfro later said he tried to escape because he was angry he was “going to miss Christmas.” He also said he was trained in mixed martial arts and cage fighting.
Renfro was in prison in Idaho from April 2009 to July 2014, when he was released on parole, according to state records. He had been sentenced for grand theft in Kootenai and Latah counties and for assault and battery for kicking the jail guard in the leg.
Mike Kralicek is the last Coeur d’Alene officer shot in the line of duty, in 2004. He was critically injured when a fleeing suspect shot him, and spent many months in rehabilitation and physical therapy. He’s permanently disabled from the shooting.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.