Man shot 20 times by Boise Police says officers are lying

Credit: KTVB file

Dorian Willes was hiding in this hole in the basement of a Boise building.



Posted on September 25, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 4:33 PM

Dorian Willes tells his side of the story

BOISE - After a man was shot 20 times by police last year in Boise, the Boise Ombudsman says police acted properly. Now, the man shot by officers tells his side of the story.

Dorian Willes admits he ran from officers but claims their account of what happened isn't what he remembers.

On June 5th, 2008, Willes ran from police in fear of getting caught violating his probation.

At the end of the foot chase, Boise Police officers shot him near a Boise apartment complex.

When looking at key details that lead up to the shooting - this becomes a story of he said, they said.

On one side there's Willes' story. On the other side, the account of several Boise Police officers.

"I was just scared to go to jail, was on drugs at the time, and just kind of panicked," Willes said.

He is still recovering from a day that completely changed his life. High on methamphetamine, Willes was determined not to be caught.

With police surrounding the apartment building, Willes broke a hole in the ceiling to try and escape.

"(I) got into the attic crawl space, went all the way across the apartment complex in the crawl space, kicked a hole (and) came down into another apartment," Willes said.

To make it easier to break through the sheet rock walls - he grabbed a soldering gun off of a dresser in one of the apartments.

"I never picked it up intending to use it as a weapon," he said.

He kept the tool with him until police found him.

"Long story short I ended up in, after going through another couple walls, I ended up in the basement."

Once in the basement, Willes hid himself beneath a piece of plywood - in a six foot by three foot concrete hole.

"It was just big enough for me to (lie) down, and hide under," he said.

Up to this point Willes' story and the officer's stories are the same.

As seven members of the Boise Special Operations Unit entered the apartment they claim to have heard Willes say he had a gun.

"At no time did I ever say that I had a gun. Ever," he said.

We asked Willes if he thinks the police officers are lying.

"I'm saying that there's something not, that's not honest in that, yeah, I never said that I had a gun to any of the officers."

The other glaring contradiction surrounds how police officers found Willes - which ultimately led to the shooting.

Willes says that several officers and a police dog were walking over the top of him until a dog caught his scent and scratched on the plywood, cornering Willes in the hole.

"They told me to come out," he said. "I stood up with one hand, or I pushed myself up with one hand, holding the board up with another. When I got to my feet, I pushed the board over. As soon as the board hit the ground they told me to get on my hands and knees."

Leaving the soldering gun in the whole, Willes says he then flipped off the officers.

"I brought it up, 'f- you,' and that's why the opened fire," Willes said.

According to the officers named in the Ombudsman's Report, the story is different. Officers say they didn't know Willes was beneath the plywood.

One officer said "that (Willes) was like a jack-in-the-box; he came out of nowhere."

Two officers then said they, "both saw (Willes) come up quickly with what they took to be a gun pointed at them - from three feet away."

Fearing their own safety, the officers opened fire.

Willes said he's standing by his story.

"Absolutely, 100 percent. I mean this is, this is the way that I've told the story from the beginning. Everybody has their own perspective on what happened," said Willes.

The ombudsman found the officers justified in the shooting and their stories credible and Willes' story not credible.

Willes and his lawyer filed a notice of tort claim against the city of Boise and the Boise Police Department for excessive force.

They're seeking $5 million to cover his injuries and suffering.

The prosecutor's office tells KTVB that Willes will likely never face criminal charges in the case.

Friday, doctors are amputating Willes's right leg below the knee, since his wounds are not healing.

Since the incident, he has spoken at three schools as a volunteer for the Idaho Meth Project -- encouraging students not to use meth.