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Mother of man shot by police speaks out as assault and theft charges are filed

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Jake Lee Sheeler in a hospital bed at Portneuf Medical Center | Courtesy photo

POCATELLO — Charges have been filed against a Pocatello man who allegedly stole guns and was shot by officers.

Jake Lee Sheeler, 28, remains in the ICU at Portneuf Medical Center as the East Idaho Critical Incident Task Force continues to investigate. Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei told EastIdahoNews.com Wednesday that the initial information shows that Sheeler was not running away from officers and was not shot in the back.

However, that statement is at odds with what those close to Sheeler are saying.

On Monday, a close family friend told EastIdahoNews.com that Sheeler had been shot in the back and is now paralyzed. On Wednesday, Sheeler’s mother, Kristin Simoni, told EastIdahoNews.com that medical staff had told her that two of the shots entered her son’s back in the shoulder area.

RELATED: Man shot by police now paralyzed in the ICU, according to family friend

Schei said detectives are working to determine how many times Sheeler was shot and the exact locations on Sheeler’s body. Investigators are seeking warrants on medical records to provide that information.

The whole incident unfolded around 4:30 p.m. Friday when police locked down a neighborhood to look for a suspect in a reported robbery of two guns. Police said Sheeler pointed a gun at the homeowner. Officers encountered Sheeler around 8:30 p.m. in a field next to the Outback Golf Park on Pocatello Creek Road.

“The suspect was confronted by officers, and in the ensuing confrontation, officers fired their weapons,” Pocatello Police said in a news release.

When speaking with EastIdahoNews, Schei said the three officers who fired their weapons are currently on administrative leave.

The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed late Wednesday that Sheeler is facing three charges of aggravated assault, two counts of grand theft and unlawful possession of a firearm, all felonies. Prosecutors said they intended to seek the use of a deadly weapon enhancement, which would make the maximum sentence longer.

The officer-involved shooting is under investigation by the task force led by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.

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