Bonner Co. deputy to return to work, other still recovering after shooting

KREM 2's Taylor Viydo reports on the two deputies who were shot while on the job in January. (4-21-17)

BONNER COUNTY, Idaho – One of the Bonner County deputies who was shot while serving a search warrant near Blanchard in January could be back on patrol as early as May.

The other deputy faces a much longer road to recovery.

Deputies Mike Gagnon and Justin Penn were each spot three times. While they were trying to serve the arrest warrant, the suspect, Adam Foster, ran at the sight of the deputies before allegedly shooting them.

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said Deputy Gagnon's doctor just gave the department clearance Thursday to have him return to duty.

“He is doing just some physical regimens, and he actually anticipates to be back to work, in patrol, maybe the middle of May or the first of June,” said Wheeler.

Deputy Justin Penn still has a way to go. His left arm took the most damage. Penn had surgery on that arm recently and has another procedure scheduled in June. A year of therapy will follow, and it's not clear if he'll be able to return to patrol.

"I told deputy Penn, as long as I'm sheriff, he's always going to have a job at the Sheriff's Office," said Wheeler.

It is still too early to tell how Penn's recovery will play out. The Sheriff's Office is ready to have the men back. Including Penn and Gagnon, officials said the department is currently down seven deputies from their normal staffing levels.

A recent fundraiser for Deputy Penn's family brought in $2,500 in donations. Sheriff Wheeler estimates that across North Idaho, more than $7,000 have been raised for Penn and Gagnon.

"There's a great appreciation for the kind of work these men and women do day after day and night after night," said Wheeler.

The suspect in the case, Adam Foster, is facing two charges of attempted murder. Court records show that he is currently in state custody undergoing mental evaluations to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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