The Ada County Critical Incident Task Force is investigating the officer-involved shooting of a 32-year-old Nampa man who fired a gun at a Kuna Police officer during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning, ran away, and then broke into a nearby home to avoid arrest.
Kuna Police found Ramon Milanez inside a home in the 400 block of E. Black Hawk Drive after an intensive six-hour long search in a Linder/Deer Flat/Hubbard Roads neighborhood.
Members of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office tactical team set up a perimeter around the home and then shot Milanez as he tried to escape in a stolen car. Milanez was pronounced dead at the scene. No law enforcement officers or other members of the public were injured.
The incident began just before 4 a.m. when a Kuna Police officer attempted to pull over a BMW sedan on Linder Road as part of an investigation into illegal drug activity.
When the driver kept going, the officer began a pursuit. Moments later, the driver pointed a handgun out of the window and fired an estimated 8-to-10 shots at the officer near the E. Wood Owl Drive intersection. The officer immediately stopped the pursuit and asked for assistance. That officer was not hit by any of the bullets.
The officer saw the BMW turn in to the subdivision on the east side of Linder Road. More officers arrived and began the search for the BMW, which they found abandoned on Chapparosa Drive a short time later. The doors were open and no one was inside.
Kuna Police — with the assistance of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise Police, and Meridian Police — set up a perimeter around the neighborhood and began to search for Milanez.
Kuna Police asked people in the neighborhood to lock their homes and keep their children inside while officers searched the area.
The search took hours as officers investigated numerous leads — including footprints in the snow, open doors on outbuildings, and barking dogs — and knocked on dozens of doors checking on people before they tracked Milanez down to a home in the 400 block of E. Black Hawk Drive around 10:30 a.m.
The homeowner told police he didn’t know Milanez or how he got into the house. Officers quickly got the people in nearby homes out while members of the tactical team moved into place and set up a perimeter. Officers saw Milanez walking around inside and holding a handgun.
Officers tried to call his cell phone but Milanez did not answer. Around 11 a.m. the garage door opened. Officers saw Milanez get into a car and try to back out of the driveway. A Boise Police officer working with the tactical team, who had an armored vehicle parked nearby, drove over and hit the car before it could get out of the driveway.
That is when members of the tactical team fired at Milanez in the car. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
The five Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies on the tactical team who fired are Jeremy Byington, Raul Garcia, Ron Santucci, Cory Feldman, and D.J. Rupert.
Byington has been with the ACSO since 2004, Garcia since 2001, Santucci since 2002, Feldman since 2001, and Rupert since 2008.
Boise Police officers who worked with the tactical team and fired are Cpl. David Leavitt and Luis Gutierrez. Leavitt has been with Boise Police for 18 years, and Gutierrez for 11, after 7 years with the ACSO.
The Meridian Police officer who worked with the tactical team is a 37-year-old man who has been with the department for 12 years.
The case is under active investigation and evidence is still being collected at the scene. Investigators located shell casings on Linder Road by the Wood Owl Drive intersection. They also found a backpack they suspect the man dropped in a backyard several hundred feet away from the E. Black Hawk Drive home.
Officers located two handguns, bullets and a piece of metal by the backpack. Reports of a grenade being seen or found nearby turned out to be false.
Ada County Coroner’s Office officials publicly identified Milanez early Wednesday afternoon and listed his cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds.
Deputies arrested 35-year-old Stephanie M. Prieto and charged her with a misdemeanor count of resisting and obstructing officers in connection with the case.
Investigators say Prieto was a passenger in the BMW when the initial shooting occurred early Tuesday morning. She ran away from the car and officers did not locate her until several hours later at a gas station in Meridian.
The Critical Incident Task Force does an independent investigation of all uses of lethal force by law enforcement in Ada County. The Idaho State Police is the lead investigative agency for this incident. Investigators are still determining how many shots were fired.
Kuna Police worked closely with the Kuna School District officials Tuesday morning. School officials cancelled classes for the day at Reed Elementary School, which is in the neighborhood. Kuna School District officials contacted all the parents of Reed students directly.
Other Kuna School District students in the neighborhood were excused from attending class so they could remain safe inside their homes while officers searched for the shooting suspect.
Classes were still held at nearby Kuna High School. Police officers and school officials monitored the parking lots and doors and made sure all students got inside safely.