KUNA -- The Twin Falls County Prosecutor has determined that officers did not break any laws when they opened fire in a Kuna neighborhood in January, fatally wounding a Nampa man.
Ramon Milanez, 32, died after a six-hour search and standoff with officers from Ada County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, Boise Police and Meridian Police Jan. 24.
The shooting unfolded after an officer with the Kuna Police Department tried to pull over a black BMW driven by Milanez during a drug investigation at around 4 a.m. Milanez did not pull over, investigators say, but instead leaned out of the window with a handgun and fired eight to ten shots at the officer near Wood Owl Drive.
The Kuna officer - who wasn't hit- pulled back and called for assistance, while Milanez turned into the subdivision on the east side of Linder Road. His BMW was found empty on Chapparosa Drive a short time later.
Officers from multiple agencies set up a perimeter around the neighborhood and began searching for the suspect. According to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, officers talked to residents and followed leads including footprints in the snow, barking dogs and open doors on outbuildings. After several hours, searchers pinpointed Milanez' location as a home on East Black Hawk Drive.
It turned out that Milanez had broken into the house while the homeowner was upstairs watching television with his children. The suspect made his way into the home's garage.
When officers realized Milanez was inside, they quickly evacuated residents of that home and the nearby homes, and surrounded the house. Police sent in a SWAT robot into the home to get video images of what was going on.
The video showed Milanez walking around inside with what appeared to be a handgun, according to Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs.
At about 11 a.m., Milanez opened the garage door and tried to back out in a car. At that point, BOise Police blocked him in with an armored vehicle and officers from all three agencies opened fire.
Milanez died at the scene.
Investigators did not find a handgun at the Black Hawk Drive house, but did find two guns near a backpack the suspect dropped near the home before he broke in.
Loebs reviewed interviews, video, forensic evidence, photographs, an Ada County Critical Incident Task Force report and other reports before concluding the shooting was justified. All eight officers who fired their guns “had legitimate fears for their safety, the safety of their fellow officer, and the safety of the general public because of Milanez’s actions.”
Boise Police, Meridian Police, and the Ada COunty Sheriff's Office are all conducting their own internal reviews into the shooting to determine whether department policies were followed.