OWYHEE COUNTY — A multi-agency investigation is underway into the apparent suicide of a man who was under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The 57-year-old man from Battle Mountain, Nevada died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. An Idaho State Trooper witnessed the incident that occurred July 9 at about 1:30 p.m. on State Highway 51 northbound on the Duck Valley Reservation in Owyhee County, approximately four miles north of the Nevada border.
Thursday afternoon, an Idaho State Police Trooper was called to assist agents from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs with a DUI investigation. The investigation was the result a citizens 911 call reporting a possible impaired driver. A BIA agent located the subject vehicle, a mid-sized RV with Nevada license plates. Since the investigation was taking place on the Duck Valley Reservation but on a state highway with a non-tribal individual, the Bureau of Indian Affairs contacted the Idaho State Police to assist with the DUI investigation. The driver failed the field sobriety tests. The driver and his dog were the only occupants of the RV.
When the ISP Trooper arrived, he continued the DUI investigation and found additional evidence that led to the driver being placed under arrest. Prior to the man being transported to jail, he was allowed to go inside the RV to care for his dog. Once the man and the trooper were inside the RV, the man accessed a handgun and fired a single shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The trooper witnessed the incident. The federal agent was just outside the vehicle and heard the shot. The trooper did not fire his weapon. Neither the trooper nor the agent were injured.
Consistent with standard procedures, the involved trooper is on administrative leave. The Idaho State Police have invoked critical incident protocols requesting a multi-agency response to aid the investigation. The FBI and Canyon County Sheriff’s Office are assisting ISP detectives. Information in this news release is considered preliminary pending the results of the investigation. Upon completion, the criminal investigation will be submitted to the Owyhee County Prosecutor for review. Also consistent with standard procedure, an internal review by the Idaho State Police has begun to determine that agency procedures were followed.