The shooter in a Sept. 11 incident at Hurricanes Bar has been identified through court records as 21-year-old Levi Bautista.
Bautista was later stopped by Idaho Falls police and was shot by police officers while attempting to flee.
According to charges filed against Juan Manuel Gonzalez, 29, he reportedly fired at Bautista before Bautista returned fire, hitting cars in the parking lot and the side of the building.
Gonzalez reportedly shot at Bautista after an argument, according to the probable cause affidavit. Bautista was reportedly holding a gun during the argument, the release said. Bautista left the scene in his car after shooting back.
Bautista later was located by Idaho Falls Police Department officers who used a PIT maneuver to stop his car after he fled from an attempted traffic stop. Bautista then reportedly attempted to flee on foot when he was shot by an officer. The officer has been identified as Mitch Bierma, who joined the Idaho Falls Police Department in 2015. A police department news release said Bautista was holding a gun as he fled.
Bautista remains hospitalized, according to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations Coleen Niemann. She said Bautista is in serious condition.
As of Wednesday, Bautista has not been charged with a crime in connection to the night’s events. Idaho Falls Police Department Public Information Officer Jessica Clements said there are charges pending against Bautista.
The incident is not the first time Bautista has been involved in a shooting. In August 2020 he was arrested after firing a BB gun at a driver. He was sentenced to retained jurisdiction in the case.
On the night of Sept. 11, Gonzalez also reportedly attacked a friend of Bautista’s after Bautista left. According to the probable cause affidavit, Gonzalez handed his gun to an unidentified man, who then put it in his pants. The unidentified man later hit Bautista’s friend in the back of the head. Gonzalez reportedly followed up by punching the man in the face.
A photo of an unidentified man who was reportedly involved in an attack on Levi Bautista’s friend on Sept. 11 at Hurricanes Bar. Idaho Falls P…
The victim told Idaho State Police his jaw was broken during the attack. Madison Memorial Hospital later confirmed his jaw was broken. Police have released photos of the unidentified man involved in the attack.
Gonzalez reportedly left the state after the shooting. According to the Idaho Falls Police Department, investigators learned he was returning to the city and arrested him Tuesday.
Clements said the Eastern Idaho Critical Incident Task Force has finished its investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Bautista and submitted it to the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Previously, the police department has released the names of officers involved in shootings before the investigation of the shooting is complete. Clements said the department chose to withhold it for longer than usual because the bar shooting was still under investigation.
Clements also said there was concern for the officer’s safety because several of those involved are not in police custody, including Bautista and the unidentified man with Gonzalez. Gonzalez was released from jail after posting a $75,000 bond.
Gonzalez has been charged with aggravated battery, punishable with up to 15 years in prison, and aggravated assault, punishable with up to five years in prison.