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Latah County Prosecutor deems police shooting of Mike Trappett in Orofino justified

The office said that Trappett's death from Clearwater County Deputies was a justified response to "aggravated assault" on law enforcement, according to Idaho law.

OROFINO, Idaho — The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Latah County, Idaho deemed the police shooting of Mike Trappett in Orofino, Idaho as "legally justifiable" on Tuesday.

According to recently released documents, the office deemed the shooting from Clearwater County Deputies to be justifiable because, according to Idaho Code 18-4009, homicide from law enforcement is justifiable when "resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to some great bodily injury upon any person."

The shooting occurred earlier this year in February, as Mike Trappett, 48, was in crisis, holding a knife and threatening to harm himself. He was shot 15 times by Clearwater County deputies.

The Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office said Trappett was drunk and being aggressive. Trappett’s family said he struggled with bipolar disorder and was only a threat to himself. They believe the situation could have ended peacefully. 

"In reaching this conclusion, we note that, at minimum, there was reasonable and probable cause to conclude that Michael Trappett had committed the felony offense of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer," the office said in the documents. "This assaultive conduct becomes aggravated assault by virtue of the use of a deadly weapon, the large butcher-type knife."

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