Garden City, ID – Garden City police officials released bodycam video of the April officer-involved shooting of Thomas Bunde and announced that the investigation had determined the officers were justified in their use of force (video below).
The shooting occurred at about 1 a.m. on April 13 when Garden City police responded to a domestic disturbance call in the 5100-block of North Quinella Street, the Idaho Statesman reported.
When officers arrived on the scene, Bunde’s wife was sitting on the front steps of their trailer.
She told police that she wasn’t hurt but that she had “scratched” Bunde and that he was drunk and he might need medical attention, the Idaho Statesman reported.
“I can’t deal with it,” she told the officer in the bodycam video.
An officer knocked on the door of the home and Bunde responded that he needed “to put some pants on.”
At that point in the interaction, police believed that Bunde was the victim in the incident, the Idaho Statesman reported.
A moment later, Bunde opened the front door and walked out of the house with a gun in his hand pointed at the officer’s head, bodycam showed.
“I’ll blow your f—king head off,” Bunde announced in the video.
The officer jumped back and officers ordered Bunde to drop his gun.
Video showed Bunde continued to point his gun and a split second later, officers opened fire on him.
Bunde dropped to the ground, hit by bullets, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Bodycam showed officers handcuffed Bunde and then immediately began rendering First Aid.
Bunde died at the scene, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Garden City Police Chief Rick Allen told reporters when he released the bodycam video that Bunde had been standing less than an arm’s length away from the officer he was pointing a gun at.
Chief Allen said he was standing close enough to the officer in the doorway that he could reach out and touch his hat, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The police chief said it turned out the gun that Bunde had pointed at officers wasn’t loaded.
Chief Allen said Bunde’s wife said she had taken the gun from Bunde on a prior occasion and had hidden from him, the Idaho Statesman reported.
She told police she didn’t know Bunde had found the gun.
The police chief said that toxicology reports showed Bunde’s blood alcohol level was .24 when he died, three times above the legal driving limit, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Chief Allen commended his officers’ handling of the incident and said his thoughts and prayers were with Bunde’s family.
“Unfortunately, with situations like this, there are no winners,” Allen said. “There are merely survivors.”
The officer-involved shooting was investigated by the Garden City Police Department and the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force, KIVI reported.
“Based on the facts gleaned from that investigation I have determined that the homicide was justifiable under Idaho law and therefore my office has declined to file criminal charges,” Valley County Prosecuting Attorney Brian D. Naugle said.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: