Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 49° Cloudy
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Bonners Ferry police chief under investigation for off-duty killing of Boise man

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 13, 2020

The police chief of Bonners Ferry is under investigation for shooting and killing a Boise man during an Aug. 1 altercation at a central Idaho campground, according to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.

Bonners Ferry Police Chief Brian Zimmerman was off-duty when he fatally shot Boise resident Russell Liddell, 73, at the Tin Cup Campground in Custer County, about 150 miles northeast of Boise, according to a statement released Thursday by the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.

Zimmerman has not been placed on administrative leave while under investigation, according to a statement posted Thursday to the Bonners Ferry Police Department’s Facebook page.

“The City does not feel that administrative leave or other personnel action by the City of Bonners Ferry is necessary at this time as Chief Zimmerman’s actions were in no way related to his employment with the City of Bonners Ferry,” the statement said.

According to the release from Custer County, a verbal altercation began Aug. 1 at around 10:30 p.m., when Liddell approached the group Zimmerman was camping with. Witnesses told police they did not know Liddell and that he was not part of the group.

The argument resulted in “shots being fired,” according to the statement. Zimmerman fired at Liddell, resulting in his death, despite attempts by other campers to save his life, the statement said.

The incident is under investigation by the Eastern Idaho Critical Task Force.

The statement by Bonners Ferry police said Zimmerman had “returned fire after being fired upon.”

Sgt. Bryan Lovell with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, which is heading the investigation, was unable to confirm whether Liddell shot at Zimmerman but noted the investigation is still in its early stages and that more information will be released as it is known.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.