A 41-year-old Washington state man who was killed Wednesday afternoon near McCammon as a result of an officer-involved shooting was wanted for attempted murder, police said.
Police have identified the deceased as Buddy Byron McKenzie of Richland, Washington. McKenzie had an active arrest warrant for attempted first- and second-degree murder in Yakima County, police said.
McKenzie fired shots on law enforcement and led several agencies on a lengthy, high-speed pursuit, according to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office.
No officers were injured.
The incident began at about 3:30 p.m. in Caribou County. Caribou County Sheriff Adam Mabey said one of his deputies noticed McKenzie in a parked vehicle acting suspiciously, and he fled in his small, white pickup truck when the deputy attempted to make contact with him.
Mabey said a pursuit ensued, with McKenzie fleeing toward Bannock County, and McKenzie discharged a firearm multiple times. Mabey said the incident started in the vicinity of a middle school and the pursuit passed through a residential neighborhood.
For the safety of Soda Springs students and school staff, all schools there were placed on lockdown for approximately 10 minutes, according to the Soda Springs Police Department.
Mabey did not offer more specific details, pending an investigation.
“We want to make sure we’ve got a thorough, transparent investigation that’s completed,” Mabey said.
Bannock County deputies were called to assist in the pursuit, according to a press release. Bannock County deputies were informed that McKenzie had already fired several shots at law enforcement officers.
Deputies from Caribou County, Idaho State Police troopers and Soda Springs Police officers also participated in the pursuit westbound on Highway 30 through Lava Hot Springs. Authorities deployed spike strips to puncture the tires of McKenzie’s truck, but he continued to flee, according to the press release. The vehicle stopped on Highway 30 near the McCammon Interstate 15 exit, police said.
According to the press release, law enforcement fired shots at McKenzie after he made a “lethal threat.” McKenzie was pronounced dead at the scene.
Both directions of Highway 30 were blocked for several hours Wednesday.
The Yakima Herald reported that McKenzie was wanted on charges in connection with a shooting in the parking lot of the Yakama Nation-owned casino outside Toppenish, Wash.
Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the casino around 12:40 a.m. Oct. 4 for a gunshot victim, and found the woman shot in the parking lot, the Herald reported.
The woman, McKenzie's ex-girlfriend, told deputies that McKenzie had gotten out of a vehicle, pointed a gun at her and fired, hitting her in the stomach, and he fired a second shot while she was on the ground that grazed her head, according to court documents as reported by the Herald.
The Southeastern Idaho Critical Incident Team is investigating the incident.
Mabey said such situations aren’t common in small towns, and he’s proud of how Soda Springs and Caribou County law enforcement responded.
“From my point of view, I’m extremely proud of the professionalism officers in my agency and in the Soda Springs department displayed. We don’t have this type of activity often,” Mabey said.