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News >  Idaho

Nez Perce tribal officer shot, suspect killed

April 18, 2019 Updated Thu., April 18, 2019 at 6:35 a.m.

By Tom Holm Lewiston Tribune

A man died and a Nez Perce tribal police officer was injured Wednesday in related shootings in Lewiston.

Officer Josh Rigney was off duty and at his home on the 3500 block of 11th Street when a man drove by his house and opened fire. Rigney was shot twice and traded gunfire with the unidentified man, according to a neighbor and a Nez Perce Tribe news release.

The unidentified man fled from the scene after the two traded about 10 shots, said neighbor Rose Covey. She said the man, whom she had never met, was looking through her windows one house down from where Rigney was shot. Covey questioned the man and he reportedly asked her where the “tribal cop” lived. She said she wasn’t sure but pointed next door to where a tribal patrol car was parked in front of a gray apartment complex. Covey said the man got into his car and then drove next door and began firing. Covey said she did not see the man carrying a weapon but heard the shots and thought he had a handgun.

Medics arrived and took Rigney to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday evening that Rigney was being treated in the emergency room and no status on his condition was available.

The suspect was stopped in front of the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds on Burrell Avenue. At least three Lewiston police officers fired at the man and he was hit multiple times and later died, according to a news release from Lewiston city spokeswoman Carol Mauer. No Lewiston officers were injured. The man was taken to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center for treatment but later died. Asked for more details, Mauer referred the Tribune to Idaho State Police. A local ISP supervisor said details will be released by a spokesman based in Meridian.

Bullet holes riddled businesses and shell casings littered multiple areas along Burrell Avenue, Warner Avenue and 11th Street and 13th Street. At least four crime scenes were identified and being investigated by multiple agencies. The man led police on a chase around the Orchards after shooting Rigney and stopped outside the fairgrounds. A patrol car at the scene had a flat tire, likely from a bullet hole. The man had reportedly fired while being chased by police. Burrell was shut down from Thain Road to past the fairgrounds for several hours while the scene was investigated.

Five agencies assisted the investigation, including the FBI and Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office. ISP took over investigating the officer-involved shootings.

Idaho requires an alternate agency investigate officer-involved shootings and ISP, as well as the Latah County Sheriff’s Office and Moscow police, assisted in that investigation as part of a Critical Incident Task Force.

Lewiston Police Chief Budd Hurd said the three officers who shot the man were still on duty Wednesday and being interviewed by the critical incident investigators. Hurd declined to elaborate.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is assisting tribal police with calls.

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