BOISE -- A Caldwell man has died after being shot by a police officer during a confrontation in a Boise neighborhood early Tuesday morning.
Police received information about a suspected drunk driver and made a traffic stop on his vehicle at 2:14 a.m. on Brynwood Drive. Police say the driver was combative and assaulted an officer with a sharp tool before speeding away, nearly striking another officer with his vehicle.
After a brief search, officers found the suspect's vehicle at 2:40 a.m. on Brynwood Drive near Parkwood Street.
As officers approached the vehicle on foot, the suspect tried to ram police cars, one of which was occupied, police said. The driver refused to follow verbal commands and continued to use his vehicle in an aggressive manner toward police. One of the officers fired his weapon once, hitting the driver. Police and paramedics rendered first aid, but the man died on the way to the hospital.
The Ada County coroner on Tuesday afternoon identified the man who died as 50-year-old Noel Rodriguez. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the coroner said.
According to online court records, Rodriguez was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1980's.
An Idaho Department of Correction spokesperson said Rodriguez was sentenced in Canyon County on April 15, 1988, to five years for aggravated assault.
He was also sentenced on that same date in Canyon County to 10 years to life for second-degree murder.
Rodriguez was released on parole on Feb. 12, 2016, according to the IDOC.
Officer-involved shooting on Brynwood
The officer involved in the shooting is Rob Rainford, a five-year veteran of the Boise Police Department. He has 16 years of law enforcement experience.
Authorities say they're reviewing video from the officer's body camera. Boise Police recently issued body cameras to about 30 officers as part of a staggered rollout of the devices.
"They just rolled their body cameras out. So they do have the benefit of some body camera footage. I don't know how good that footage is or which officer had that on," Meridian Police Department Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said. "Garden City also had an officer on scene who had a body camera, as well."
Brynwood Drive was blocked off with caution tape for several hours, and the Ada Critical Incident Task Force has been activated to investigate. The street is back open again. Detectives with the Meridian Police Department are taking over the investigation.
"We look at the actions of the officer and the use of force to determine whether or not that use of force was justified," Deputy Chief Basterrechea said.
Charlotte Mygrant said the shooting happened right outside her bedroom window.
"I heard this very loud revving engine sound, and that's what woke me up," she said.
Mygrant said she looked out the window to see flashing police lights, and a white pickup in the road surrounded by police.
"An officer had his gun drawn on this fella in this truck, this white truck," she said. "I'm like 'oh my God, what the heck is going on out here?'"
She said she heard the officer fire, but didn't see bullets strike the driver. The next time she looked out the window, the injured man was lying on the sidewalk, she said.
The commotion was out of character for the typically-calm neighborhood, she said.
"It was crazy - cops up the street, down the street, everywhere," Mygrant said.
Basterrechea says once the investigation is complete they will hand their findings to the prosecutor's office who will decide whether charges will be filed.
The incident comes less than two months after another shooting in Boise involving law enforcement. In the April 28 case, Ada County Sheriff's Office deputies shot and killed 53-year-old Lee Easter in his West Spring River Street home after officials say the man confronted them with a handgun.