After saying that police officers aren’t the individuals who decide guilt or innocence for a crime, Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen explained that respect for suspects is part of the job.
“When we have a suspect that is injured, hurt or whatever reason, whether they've made wrong decisions or not, that person still has family members. That person is still a human being and we pray for his recovery,” Nielsen said.
Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday evening, there was a report of a hit and run incident near North Hiline and Tyhee road in Bannock County.
The suspect rammed one vehicle and then fled in his vehicle, a 1997 red chevy blazer. Bannock County Sheriffs deputies then intercepted the suspect on Reservation Road, then pursued him through Cemetery and Pole Line Extension.
Fort Hall Police laid down spike strips to slow the suspect on highway ninety-one. The suspect was stopped by several officers from Bannock County and Fort Hall. The suspect then began ramming police vehicles with his rear bumper. An officer than discharged an undisclosed amount of gunshots at the suspect in an effort to defuse the incident. The suspect was wounded and identified as Kevin Dean Toane, 33 of Fort Hall.
That suspect was originally listed as being in critical condition and was taken to Portneuf Medical Center immediately and then life-flighted to the University of Utah Medical Center. Sheriff Lorin Nielsen had this to say about recent shooting incidents in Bannock County.
“The last two years have been terrible. We’ve had four deaths, caused by officers. That isn’t why we hired on. I know I’ve said that before. That’s not a cliché. We train for it, we practice for it but we hope to never use it,” Nielsen said.