UPDATED: The Eastern Idaho Critical Response Team had a press release at 10am today and released their findings on the officer involved shooting that took place in June. The team said Douglas J. Walters died of a self-inflicted gun shot to the head. After the three officers entered Walters’ home on June 17, Walters fired two shots toward police hitting office Malin Reynolds in the chest. Each officer then fired two shots in what investigators have determined was self-defense. Walters took a total of seven bullets, four in his lower left abdomen, one in his neck, one in his shoulder blade and a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Local News 8 re-capped the entire shooting – An Idaho Falls Police Officer has been released from the hospital after being shot in the chest while attempting to arrest a suspect who fled from a traffic stop early Friday morning, Idaho Falls police spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen said.At approximately 1:50 a.m., Idaho State Police made a traffic stop on Douglas J. Walters of Idaho Falls at the intersection of Whittier and Yellowstone Highway.During the stop, ISP officers determined that 50-year-old Walters, who was driving a white pickup truck, had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. As officers began to take him into custody, Walters fled from ISP, Hansen said.ISP pursued Walters and Idaho Falls police joined in the search for Walters a short time later as he approached the intersection of Holmes and 17th Street. Hansen said police followed Walters to his home, located at intersection of 17th Street and Emerson Avenue.
IFPD Officers Malin Reynolds and Bart Whiting and Bonneville County Deputies Tony Glenn and Chad Lanz followed him into the house, Hansen said.Inside the home, Walters shot Officer Reynolds point blank in the chest with a handgun, Hansen said. Reynolds had come from around a corner and was attempting to apprehend Walters when he was shot.”The next thing I heard was ‘cop down’ and they were telling my son to get away from the window,” said next door neighbor Dawna Chester.Hansen said officers returned fire killing Walters.Officer Reynold’s bulletproof vest stopped the bullet from entering his body. He was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center as a precaution. Officer Whiting was also taken to EIRMC for an injury he sustained during the incident.Hansen said it was just a few months ago when Idaho Falls Police Chief Steve Roos made it mandatory for officers to wear bulletproof vests.Walters is listed as a registered sex offender and has a criminal record.Walters’ family members were shocked and trying to make sense of it all. Son-in-law Art Morin said Walters lived in the East 17th St. house with his brother, and when they saw him a week ago, there were no red flags.”As far as we knew he was doing good,” said Morin.But Chester described Walters as a registered sex offender, coming and going from the home at all hours of the night.”He was kind of hard to get along with, so we kept our distance, and just tried not to cause any problems,” said the mother of four.The investigation is being handled by the Eastern Idaho Regional Critical Response Task Force, led by Bingham County and Blackfoot Police. It’s expected to take at least a few weeks.Officer deaths have skyrocketed this year. Idaho Falls Police said so far in 2011 alone, 88 have been killed across the country, 38 of those from gun-fire.”We’re a safe town to live in, we’re still a safe town to live in, but we’re just seeing that people are willing to use a weapon against an officer more frequently and that’s throughout the United States,” said Idaho Falls Police Captain Ken Brown.
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Idaho State Journal staff
Nate Eaton & Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com