By Cameron Rasmusson
According to Sandpoint Police Department officials, Casey George Alarcon, 34 years old of Sandpoint, died from a single gunshot wound after opening fire at Sandpoint Police and Bonner County Sheriff officers.
This week’s shooting occurred at a residence on Ruth Avenue between Chestnut and Spruce streets. According to police officials, two Bonner County deputies and a Sandpoint police officer were “conducting enforcement activities” in the area (the Bonner County Dispatch press log indicates they were there on a felony warrant arrest) when they encountered Alarcon. A conflict ensued, and Alarcon brandished a firearm, firing two shots at the officers. A deputy returned fire and shot Alarcon with a single round. This accounts for the multiple shots that bystanders reported hearing, with most guessing they heard between two or three.
A video posted onto social media shows the aftermath of the shooting, with officers cuffing and transporting a younger male to a Ponderay police vehicle. “Sandpoint police just murdered my brother,” the cuffed individual says in the video.
Neighborhood resident Beth Pederson heard a similar exchange shortly after the shooting occurred.
“They’ve been my neighbors forever,” Pederson added. “Both boys have been around this week, helping their dad.”
Immediately afterward, the officers involved in the shooting were counseled by Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, who made sure the officers had everything they needed. The three officers, who have not yet been identified, are now on paid administrative leave. No officers were injured in the shooting.
Meanwhile, investigation into the shooting is under way by the Region One Critical Incident Response Team, an organization of law enforcement officials from the five northern Idaho counties. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office heading up the investigation. According to police officials, officers have secured warrants to the site of the shooting and are collecting evidence. The incident was also captured on the officers’ body cameras.
This may not have been Alarcon’s first potentially deadly encounter with the police. A 2008 article in the Bonner County Daily Bee indicates he was arrested for allegedly robbing the Downtown Crossing bar and later said he wanted to be killed by police in the confrontation. According to the article, he pulled a gun on police when he was arrested on Nov. 24, 2007.
The incident left many Sandpoint residents reeling, especially since the officer-involved shooting of Jeanetta Riley on July 8, 2014, is still fresh in local minds. On social media, some were outraged by the incident while others defended police actions. Still others encouraged residents to stay calm until all the facts came to light.
“…Please wait for the full story, then argue in person if you must,” Mac Hollan advised fellow commentors on the Reader Facebook page.
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