POST FALLS-- The officers involved in a fatal Post Falls shooting will not face charges after officials declared it justified.
On March 12 the Post Falls Police Department was providing assistance to the Idaho State Police in a vehicle pursuit which resulted in the use of deadly force used by some of the officers involved.
Officials say around 2:19 A.M., a Nissan Sentra passed through the regional License Plate Recognition system on Interstate 90. The LPR system alerted the Post Falls Police that the driver of the vehicle, Justin Earl Todd, was wanted by the Kootenai County Violent Crime Task Force.
The system reported that there was probable cause to stop the vehicle; Todd had a felony warrant for his arrest. The officers were notified that Todd was an officer safety concern and they should use caution in dealing with him.
An ISP Trooper located the vehicle in Post Falls near Hwy 41 and Seltice Way. The Trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver refused to stop, and a pursuit ensued. Post Falls Officers responded to assist.
The pursuit continued through Post Falls, Coeur d’ Alene and into the City of Hayden. The investigation indicates that after several pit maneuvers to stop the vehicle, Todd skidded to a stop in the yard at the end of St. Estephe court. The ISP Trooper, and the two Post Falls Police Officers, got out of their cars and approached Todd’s vehicle in an attempt to take him into custody.
Officers directed Todd to surrender and get out of his vehicle. Mr. Todd disregarded these orders, backed up rapidly, and then accelerated forward, toward the ISP Trooper. As a result of this life threatening action to the Trooper’s life, both Post Falls Officers fired at the driver in an attempt to stop the potentially fatal threat to the Trooper.
The driver was declared dead as a result of the incident. The Trooper was struck by Todd and received injuries.
Investigation showed 20 shots were fired, and the suspect was hit 10 times. Toxicology tests showed Todd had meth in his system.
The officers involved were identified as Brad Johnson with PFPD, Aaron Ogle with PFPD, and ISP Officer Tom Keyes.
Officer Keyes fired first and fired 3 times, Officer Johnson fired 16 times and Officer Ogle fired 1 time.
The Region One, Critical Investigations Team was activated to investigate the incident. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of the Coeur d’ Alene Police Department conducted an independent investigation.
The suspect had a woman in his car but she was not hit. She was not charged with anything.
The Kootenai County Prosecutor elected to have the case reviewed by an independent Prosecutor and forwarded the case to Prosecutor Louis Marshall in Bonner County.
Prosecutor Marshall stated “After this review I am of the opinion that the officers involved in this incident acted appropriately and in accordance with the law under the particular circumstances of the incident”.
He also stated, “Taking into account all of the facts listed above, I am of the opinion that the officers associated with this situation handled the incident in a lawful manner. Thus I do not believe that criminal legal action should be taken by the State of Idaho against the officers involved”.
Thursday, a tort claim was filed against the City of Post Falls on behalf of the suspect's son, claiming excessive force for $3 million.