On Saturday July 17, wildland firefighters at the Shoshone County Airport in Smelterville, Idaho 30 miles southeast of Coeur d’Alene, encountered a dangerous situation that is not covered in the numerous training courses they take.
From the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office:
At approximately 5:52pm, Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) dispatch received a 911 call reporting an armed subject approaching fire personnel in their helicopter at the Shoshone County Airport in Smelterville Idaho. A second 911 caller reported the subject was attempting to steal a helicopter.
At the airport during this incident, there were between 30 to 70 fire fighter personnel present on scene due to the local active fires.
At approximately 5:57pm, a SCSO Deputy arrived on scene and quickly located the armed suspect (Oregon resident). The suspect then discharged a handgun several times into the ground and air as fire fighter personnel were fleeing the immediate area. The SCSO Deputy ordered the suspect to drop the weapon, he complied soon after and was taken into custody with the assistance of a 2nd SCSO Deputy and an Idaho State Police Trooper without further incident. Several other SCSO units and other law enforcement agencies arrived shortly after.
For clarification, NO law enforcement officers discharged a firearm and no one was injured during this incident.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.
End of Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office report.