Coroner identifies man shot by police after killing dog in foothills

Foothills shooting suspect identified.

BOISE -- The Ada County Coroner's Office has identified a man who was killed by police after threatening hikers and dogs in the Boise foothills Saturday.

Benjamin C. Barnes, 42, died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Barnes was hit a total of two times by officers' bullets, Coroner Dotti Owens said.

MORE: Police: 6 officers fired at suspect in foothills shooting

Police say Barnes was threatening people and their pets with a gun in the Hulls Gulch area before the shooting started late Saturday morning. Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said a hiker's dog was shot and killed.

When officers reached Barnes, he started shooting at them, Bones said. Six officers returned fire, and Barnes died at the scene. No one else was hurt.

Police and witnesses say the man was particularly upset by people with dogs, but a motive for his behavior is unclear. Also unknown is whether he is originally from the Treasure Valley area.

RELATED: Foothills shooting witness: A dog 'yelped in pain'

Barnes has only a minimal criminal record, with a misdemeanor conviction for hunting or fishing without a license in 2009 and another misdemeanor conviction for damaging a riparian area in 2015.

He was released after the second conviction after just one day in jail. Conditions of his release included that he could not sleep or camp on the Greenbelt or adjoining area in Garden City, suggesting he may have been homeless at that time.

The coroner's office said thanks to tips from the public they have been able to locate Barnes' next of kin.

The investigation into the officer-involved shooting is being handled by the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force.

Tri Town in the Hyde Park area is collecting cards for Moses' family. The business is located at 1517 1/2 N 13th St. in Boise. Cards will be collected until March 29.

KTVB


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