A Post Falls police sergeant attempting to arrest a wanted man was shot in the abdomen Tuesday night, prompting a standoff that ended hours later when a man police didn’t publicly identify was found dead inside a home.
Sgt. Justin Anderson, 36, was awake and recovering from surgery Wednesday at Kootenai Health. Police said he was in stable condition and good spirits.
“The situation that occurred last night is something that you hope never happens, especially in your own community,” Post Falls Mayor Ron Jacobson said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Anderson had been searching for Thomas W. Boland, 53, at about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday when he “encountered a male and gunfire was exchanged” outside a home at 111 S. Bentley Place, police said.
Boland was wanted on two warrants – one for failing to appear in court for two counts of misdemeanor assault, and one for a charge of resisting and obstructing law enforcement.
After he was shot, Anderson took cover and used his radio to notify other officers, police said. The shooter, meanwhile, ran into the house.
“Even after being shot, Sgt. Anderson was able to remain calm and update incoming units to his location and his condition,” Post Falls police Chief Pat Knight said during the news conference. “By doing this, it allowed responding officers to quickly contain the scene, minimizing the risk to the community.”
Anderson was rushed to the nearest fire station for emergency treatment before he was taken to the hospital, Knight said.
Coeur d’Alene police and Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting scene to assist Post Falls officers. Crisis negotiators and members of a SWAT team were among those at the scene.
Police said one person exited the house and spoke to investigators during the standoff. After giving commands over a loudspeaker for several hours, authorities entered the house and found a dead man inside.
Boland was not listed on the Kootenai County Jail roster on Wednesday, and police said they were not searching for anyone else involved in the shooting or standoff.
But police would not confirm whether Boland was believed to be the shooter, or whether he was the man found dead inside the home, which is owned by one of Boland’s relatives.
During the news conference, Knight said the dead man’s identity “has not been officially established.”
Police declined to comment on the cause of the man’s death, citing an ongoing investigation by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
“There were multiple firearms in proximity to the deceased person inside the house,” Coeur d’Alene police Chief Lee White said during the news conference.
Asked if it’s common for a lone officer to attempt to arrest a wanted person, Knight said, “It depends on the circumstances.”
Knight said Anderson is a 12-year law enforcement veteran who joined the Post Falls Police Department in 2013. Anderson leads the department’s bike patrol and special response teams.
“I am so proud of the heroic acts shown by our officers and our dispatchers during this event,” Knight said. “And at the same time, my heart goes out to a family who lost a loved one last night.”
Kootenai County District Court records show Boland was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault in May 2018. He was accused of attempting to punch two other men earlier that year. A jury found him guilty on at least one count that November.
A judge issued a bench warrant after Boland didn’t show up for his sentencing hearing in February 2019.
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