Three Kuna Police officers correctly followed Ada County Sheriff’s Office policies on use of force when they shot a 72-year-old man who pointed a gun at them from inside his car last fall.
Edgar Hafen is set to begin a jury trial in July for a felony count of assault or battery upon law enforcement in connection with the case.
Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas reviewed the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force report into the shooing of Hafen on Nov. 10 and determined the officers’ decision to fire “was an appropriate use of deadly force in order to protect themselves and other law enforcement officers” nearby.
Our internal investigation drew the same conclusion and determined Kuna Police officers Wes Bunnell, Vishal Sahni, and Nolan Zorn followed all ACSO policies during the incident – which also involved a low-speed car pursuit that ended in the desert south of Kuna.
Thomas reviewed hours of interviews, video recordings from the officers’ on-body video cameras, forensic evidence, photographs, medical records, and a variety of other reports — all generated and collected by the CITF.
The incident began the evening of Nov. 10 when one of Hafen’s family members contacted Canyon County Sheriff’s deputies. They were concerned Hafen may try to hurt himself.
Canyon County deputies found Hafen driving near Melba and attempted to pull him over.
Hafen kept driving, eventually making his way into Ada County, where Kuna Police took over the pursuit around 6:20 p.m. as he drove east on Kuna Road. Hafen refused to pull over and kept going, turning south on Swan Falls Road.
Kuna police followed Hafen until he slowed down enough at Victory Lane for an officer to do a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver, where the patrol car strikes the side of the other car and causes it to abruptly move sideways and stop.
Three Kuna Police officers — Sahni, Zorn, and Bunnell — got out of their cars and told Hafen to get out. He refused to get out and pointed a handgun at the officers. The officers fired, and Hafen dropped his gun out the window.
None of the three officers were injured.
Paramedics treated Hafen at the scene and then drove him to a local hospital.
It was later discovered that Hafen was holding a replica 1911 Colt-style semi-automatic pistol BB gun. When asked later why he pointed the BB gun at officers, Hafen said he “pulled the gun out so they would shoot away.” He also told investigators he knew it was a BB gun but to officers it would look like a 1911 handgun.
Hafen also told paramedics that night he “didn’t care either way” when they asked if he was trying to complete suicide.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Boise Police Department for their thorough and comprehensive work leading the CITF investigation and Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas for reviewing the evidence.