BOISE -- One man is dead after an officer-involved shooting Thursday night. It happened around 10:45 p.m. in a neighborhood near Chinden and Eagle on Sparkford way.
Boise Police say, unfortunately, it's not unusual to get the call of a suicidal subject. The large majority of these incidents end without anyone getting hurt. But for 37-year-old Troy Epperley, things came to a tragic end.
"I couldn't believe it," said Alen Korjenic, who lives down the street from where the shooting happened. "It's a peaceful neighborhood. I couldn't believe that anybody would be suicidal and drinking and end up getting shot at the end of the night."
Boise Police responded to the call of a suicidal subject who had been drinking. Police say four officers arrived to find Epperley in this driveway on Sparkford Way holding a handgun.
"Officers did try to talk to him, to verbally negotiate with him to put the weapon down," said Lynn Hightower, with Boise Police. "But sadly, last night the suspect chose to take different actions."
Hightower says Epperley moved forward in an aggressive manner toward one of the officers when that five-year veteran of the patrol division shot Epperley in the stomach. Epperley later died at St Alphonsus Hospital.
"It was not the outcome anyone wanted and certainly not the officers involved," said Hightower.
She says it's part of an alarming trend. BPD is seeing two to three calls of suicidal subjects a day with many involving weapons.
"For whatever reason, they're escalating to the point of crisis," said Hightower. "The vast majority, thankfully, end peacefully for everyone involved. But last night, unfortunately, because of the suspect's actions, the officer was forced to take the action he took."
Because of the increase in suicidal subject calls, Boise Police officers have received more training in how to handle and peacefully resolve those situations.
All of the officers who were on scene are now on administrative leave, which is standard practice, and does not necessarily mean any of the officers did anything wrong.
There will be a BPD internal investigation into the shooting. Community Ombudsman Pierce Murphy will also be investigating, and evaluating the performance of the officers involved.