The Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office has declined to file criminal charges against the eight Coeur d’Alene Police officers who chased and shot a suspect more than 10 times on July 4 in City Park.
The shooting had been investigated by the Idaho State Police, which sent the investigation to Bonner County for review. Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh recently received a letter from his counterpart in Sandpoint declining to file charges against any of the officers.
“It is my recommendation that no criminal charged be issued against any of the law enforcement officers involved in this incident,” Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall wrote.
The shooting left Tyler R. Rambo, 19, with permanent disabilities, including having his legs amputated. He and his attorneys filed a tort claim earlier this month that disputes how officers describe the shooting.
Rambo remains in custody at the Kootenai County Jail on a $1 million bond under the charges of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault stemming from a reported fight and shooting prior to the confrontation with the officers.
According to previous court documents, the incident was a continuation of a dispute between Rambo, then 18, and 23-year-old Jawaun Anderson. A week prior to the holiday, the men fought at a house party.
Then on July 4, Anderson encountered Rambo near Independence Point and tapped Rambo on the shoulder. Anderson told police Rambo responded by punching him, and the two men went to the ground fighting.
Witnesses claimed Rambo then pulled a gun, which Anderson described as the same gun later recovered from the scene of the officer-involved shooting. Anderson said he slapped the gun before Rambo fired. Anderson told investigators he felt a bullet come close to his face, which prompted many of the thousands gathered for the fireworks show to flee.
Rambo took off running as responding Coeur d’Alene police officers and Kootenai County deputies raced to the scene. The officers chased Rambo into City Park, where he slowed to a walk.
Police Chief Lee White previously said his officers told Rambo to stop 15 times and attempted to shock him with a Taser, but its barbs did not penetrate.
The officers reported Rambo turned toward police with the gun leveled and fired a single round. Officers returned fire, striking Rambo at least 10 times, White previously said.
But Rambo’s attorney, Rick Baughman, wrote that one of the officers fired a Taser and the electric jolt caused Rambo, who had put “his hands in the air,” to fire his gun involuntarily. “Thereafter, the law enforcement officers proceeded to unleash an unnecessary barrage of gunfire at and into Mr. Rambo,” according to the tort claim.
In the criminal review of the shooting, Marshall wrote the officers’ actions “were clearly lawful. Mr. Rambo represented a clear and present danger not only to the law enforcement officers at the City Park that evening but also to the general public,” he wrote.
Even if the Taser shock caused Rambo to fire the shot, “it would not change this analysis,” Marshall wrote.
Baughman did not immediately return a message Thursday seeking comment.
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