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

CdA police were justified in shooting, killing man in September, prosecutor says

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 17, 2020

Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh determined Coeur d’Alene police officers were justified in shooting and killing 29-year-old Fares J. Al-Samno in September.

The shooting occurred in a residential neighborhood between Silver Lake Mall and Lake City High School after police say Al-Samno aggressively approached “numerous” officers with a 4.25-inch knife in his hand.

Officers responded to the area after multiple reports of a “disorderly male” who had a knife and was acting aggressively toward people walking by him.

“He was kinda walking slow, not looking at any of us,” area resident Rod Pile said about seeing Al-Samno just before a police car arrived.

Pile said he had been wandering the area for a few days.

“He looked like he was on something,” said C.J. Land, another resident who had seen Al-Samno in previous days. “He was hunched over, walking.”

When the first officer arrived, Al-Samno allegedly charged at him with a knife in his hand, Officer Jay Wilhelm said the day of the incident. The officer was able to disengage until several more officers arrived.

Officers gave Al-Samno commands to drop the knife but he did not comply, and attempts to use a stun gun and bean-bag shotgun were not successful, according to a news release. Officers then fired at Al-Samno after police sayhe charged at them.

Al-Samno died at the scene as a result of his injuries. No officers reported injuries at the time of the incident.

Craig Wade, Nathan Herbig and Jacob Brazle were among the Coeur d’Alene police officers involved in the incident, according to a news release. Deputy Doug Goodman of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and an unnamed Idaho State Police trooper were also at the scene.

Police have not said who fired their weapons or how many bullets they shot. Residents that day described hearing a flurry of gunshots.

Brazle and Herbig, who had been Coeur d’Alene police officers for two years at the time, were also involved in the shooting of Tyler Rambo near Independence Point after the city’s Fourth of July fireworks show.

The Post Falls Police Department was the lead investigative agency for the shooting. McHugh reviewed that case as well and determined the actions of the officers were lawful on Jan. 6.

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