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Police Department News

Posted on: January 24, 2024

Update - Officer Involved Critical Incident - Officer Cleared

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1On January 8, 2024, an Idaho Falls Police Officer was involved in a shooting incident that resulted in the death of 29-year-old Wyatt Landon. The Idaho Falls Police Officer who discharged his service weapon in this incident has been found justified and that he acted in self-defense after Landon shot at him with a handgun.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m. this morning, Idaho Falls Police Officers were searching for Landon in the area of 4th Street and S Lee Avenue. Landon was wanted for multiple warrants including two felony warrants. Landon’s outstanding warrants at the time of this incident were as follows:

  • Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), Felony Flee or Attempt to Elude a Police Officer, Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Felony Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Misdemeanor Flee or Attempt to Elude a Police Officer, Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor Hit & Run, Misdemeanor Resisting & Obstructing, and Misdemeanor Domestic Battery.
  • Misdemeanor Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance
  • Misdemeanor Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance

At 3:10 a.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer made a traffic stop on a white Mazda pickup for having an obstructed license plate, which is a traffic violation. The stop was initiated near the intersection of 3rd Street and S Lee Avenue. Landon, who was the passenger in that vehicle, got out of the vehicle and ran from the stop on foot southbound on Lee Avenue. The officer making the traffic stop positively identified Landon at that time and followed Landon with his vehicle.

Idaho Falls Police Officer Oscar Rosales had been parked on 4th Street in an unmarked vehicle, surveilling a residence associated with Landon. Officer Rosales, who was wearing an IFPD patrol uniform, heard the radio traffic that Landon was running towards his location. Officer Rosales got out of his vehicle and moved to apprehend Landon near the intersection of 4th Street and Lee Avenue. 

Landon ran around the corner, westbound onto 4th Street. Officer Rosales yelled commands to Landon. Landon was armed with a handgun and shot at Officer Rosales. Officer Rosales returned fire, discharging his service weapon multiple times, striking Landon four times. 

After the shooting, officers provided the Landon with emergency medical aid. EMS from Idaho Falls Fire responded to assist and transported Landon to a local hospital. Despite efforts of medical professionals, Landon died as a result of his injuries. 

The driver of the vehicle, Jesus Rosas, was found in possession of 35.9 grams of methamphetamine, materials consistent with drug trafficking, drug paraphernalia, and a firearm. Rosas, a 44-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested for Trafficking Methamphetamine, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail. 

The Eastern Idaho Critical Incident Task Force (EICITF) is investigating the incident, with the Idaho State Police taking lead. The EICITF is a team of investigators and professional staff from local law enforcement agencies who investigate police use of force and other critical incidents. 

The EICITF investigation found that the magazine from Landon’s gun was lost on Lee Avenue near where he exited the vehicle. Because there was no magazine, Landon’s gun was only capable of firing one shot. Because there was no magazine, the slide did not lock back indicating the gun was empty. There was no way for officers to know that Landon’s gun was not capable of firing again at the time of the shooting. It is unknown if Landon was aware that his gun could not fire again.

Dash camera footage, body camera footage, physical evidence, and witness statements corroborate the series of events as previously described. 

The incident has been reviewed by the Bonneville County Prosecutor, who found that Officer Rosales was acting in self-defense and that his actions were legally justified.

“In the span of just 35 days, two of our officers were shot at while serving the Idaho Falls community,” said Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson. “In both incidents they and other Idaho Falls Police Officers literally ran towards danger, without hesitation, to protect the public and to help fellow officers. I am in awe of their bravery. I am immensely grateful that both are still with us. I am proud to have these officers at IFPD. Our community should be as well."

Officer Oscar Rosales has been a police officer for 5 years, and with IFPD for the last two and a half years. 

A video package with the radio traffic, dash camera, and body camera footage is available here: https://youtu.be/9ojBy6vjJQI

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