Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Friday, September 22, 2017

Officers actions deemed completely justified in foothills shooting

The Blaine County Prosecutor has determined that the Boise Police officers who were involved in a shooting in the Hulls Gulch area of the Boise foothills were completely justified when they acted to protect citizens and law enforcement officers on March 18, 2017.  Prosecuting Attorney Jim J. Thomas also says the six officers involved acted in conformity with their training and experience.

“The officers utilized lawful legal force in reaction to a deadly threat when Benjamin Barnes pointed a semi-automatic handgun at them and discharged several rounds towards the officers after officers gave verbal commands to come out of the bushes and show his hands.  The video and photography evidence depict the crime scene area at the time of the incident as being on an open hillside with sage brush, small trees and ground vegetation.  The officers were essentially without protective cover when Barnes began shooting at them while being approximately 50 yards away. The actions of the Boise police officers in shooting Benjamin C. Barnes were completely justified in order to neutralize the lethal threat that he (Barnes) presented to not only the police officers but to citizens who may have unwittingly come upon the scene.” – Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim J. Thomas

What Happened: On March 18, 2017 Boise Police were dispatched to the Hulls Gulch area in the Boise Foothills. The first time was around 8:12 a.m. when witnesses reported that a man, later identified as Benjamin C. Barnes, displayed a handgun to a woman while he chastised her about her dog being off-leash.  Boise Police officers were unable to locate the suspect at that time. About an hour and half later, Boise Police received another call that a dog, named Moses, had been shot by a man in the foothills and that the suspect also pointed the gun at the dog’s owner.  Officers were able to locate a man matching Barnes’s description and wearing similar clothing.  He was hiding in the bushes and officers gave loud audible commands to Barnes to come out and that he was under arrest.  Officers saw Barnes take an aggressive shooters stance and begin to discharge several rounds from a firearm towards them.  Officers returned fire and fatally wounded the suspect.  

“This was a very dangerous situation for our officers and for the community, my deepest thanks go out to the officers who put themselves in the line of fire to protect our citizens,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones. “While our hearts go out to both Barnes’ and Moses’ family for their losses, we are grateful no additional members of the community or officers were injured or killed.”

“We would also like to thank a number of agencies who assisted with this critical incident. Thank you to the Boise Fire Department and Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies for helping us restore safety in the foothills and secure a very large scene.  We would also like to thank the Meridian Police Department for their complete and through investigation as well as the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney for their work,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones.

**Media Advisory. We have extracted video clips from two body worn cameras that you can pick up today.  These two videos best show the situation.  They are being provided to speed up the release process and assist media with deadlines. To receive the rest of the video available through public records please make a request here /home/downloads-online-services/public-records-request-form/