police lights stock photo

Officers who fatally shot a 41-year-old Washington man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase and fired shots at them were justified in their actions, according to the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office.

A Caribou County sheriff’s deputy approached Buddy Byron McKenzie, who was in a parked truck outside of a home on South Second East in Soda Springs, at 3:24 p.m. Oct. 13, according to a press release by the prosecutor’s office. McKenzie reportedly gave the deputy a false name and fled in the truck.

The deputy pursued McKenzie and drove his patrol vehicle into the path of McKenzie’s truck near the John Adams automotive dealership, according to the press release. Officials said McKenzie fired on the deputy, then fleeing westbound on Highway 30 at speeds reaching in excess of 100 mph, driving recklessly into oncoming traffic and nearly causing several accidents.

Several Caribou County and Bannock County deputies and Idaho State Police troopers joined in on the pursuit, and McKenzie fired additional shots at pursuing officers, according to the press release. McKenzie called 911 during the chase and told the Caribou County dispatcher that he was armed, had shot at police and would cause a head-on collision and kill someone if police did not back off their pursuit, according to the press release.

An ISP trooper reportedly attempted two pursuit intervention techniques and managed to stop McKenzie’s truck near E. Merrill Road in McCammon. Officers from four agencies surrounded the truck on a bridge with their guns drawn and ordered him to drop his firearm.

“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,” the press release reads.

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.

Prosecutor Steven Herzog reviewed the Critical Incident Task Force Memorandum on Nov. 10, after the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office concluded the investigation. Herzog concluded McKenzie posed a therat to law enforcement and the public and deadly force was warranted under Idaho law.