(Bannock County Press Release, November 24, 2021)
The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that the officers involved in the shooting near McCammon on Oct. 13, 2021 were justified in their use of deadly force.
Prosecutor Steven Herzog reviewed the Critical Incident Task Force Memorandum on Nov. 10, after the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office concluded the investigation.
Below is a summary of Prosecutor Herzog’s review of the Critical Incident Task Force Memorandum, which can be viewed via public records request.
On Wednesday, Oct. 13 at about 3:24 p.m., a Caribou County sheriff’s deputy made contact with a man later identified as Buddy Byron McKenzie, 41, of Washington.
McKenzie was parked in his vehicle outside of a home on South 2nd East in Soda Springs when the deputy approached him. McKenzie provided the deputy with a false name before fleeing in his truck.
The deputy pursued McKenzie with his emergency lights flashing and siren blaring until they reached the side of the John Adams auto dealership. The deputy brought his patrol vehicle in the direct path of McKenzie’s truck, with the vehicles facing each other. McKenzie then fired at the deputy.
McKenzie then fled westbound on Highway 30 towards Bannock County with speeds ranging from 65 mph to over 100 mph. McKenzie drove recklessly into oncoming traffic, nearly causing several accidents putting multiple lives at risk.
Multiple marked and unmarked law enforcement vehicles chased McKenzie with emergency lights and audible sirens activated. Caribou County law enforcement requested assistance from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, who requested Idaho State Police to respond as well.
McKenzie appeared to have fired on pursuing officers during the chase.
During the pursuit, McKenzie called 911 and was connected to the Caribou County Dispatch Center. McKenzie stated he was armed, had shot at police, and was going to attempt to cause a head-on collision and kill someone if police did not back off.
During the pursuit on Highway 30, an Idaho State Police trooper attempted two pursuit intervention techniques (or PIT maneuvers) and was finally able to stop McKenzie near E. Merrill Road in McCammon.
McKenzie’s truck stopped on the bridge where law enforcement vehicles from four different agencies surrounded his vehicle, attempting to communicate with him with their guns drawn. Law enforcement gave him orders to drop his firearm and gave him time to do so.
After a few moments of further communication, McKenzie pointed his weapon in the direction of an officer. Nine law enforcement officers then discharged their firearms at McKenzie.
McKenzie had a felony warrant for attempted first-degree murder, among other related charges, out of Yakima County for shooting a woman in a casino, although that information was not known to law enforcement at the time of the incident.
The investigation concluded that given the threat McKenzie posed to law enforcement and the public, use of deadly force was warranted under Idaho law.