The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect who fled from a deputy during a traffic stop early Monday, setting in motion a string of events that ended with an Idaho Falls police officer fatally shooting a man who fit the suspect’s description.
Tanner Shoesmith, 22, has been charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.
During the search for Shoesmith, an Idaho Falls Police Department officer reportedly shot and killed a man wearing a black shirt similar to Shoesmith’s.
Public Information Officer Sgt. Bryan Lovell said Shoesmith did not have a gun on him at the time of his arrest even though a witness had told police officers that he was armed.
“A weapon was not recovered on Mr. Shoesmith’s person. Whether he had one at any time has not been confirmed at this time,” Lovell said via email.
Police were warned by a witness who said they saw Shoesmith running through their yard with a gun. Police tracked his phone to a residence near the intersection of Syringa Drive and Tendoy Drive.
Shoesmith, who was wanted on an arrest warrant, was arrested in 2019 after he reportedly struck an officer multiple times and attempted to flee during a traffic stop. Court records stated he had a reputation for running from officers.
The officer suffered a cut lip, an injury to his right eye and several cuts to his hands and fingers.
Shoesmith was charged, then released on pretrial supervision, despite his history of fleeing and failure to appear. He never appeared in court to face the felony charge of assault or battery upon certain personnel.
A GoFundMe page for the victim, 37-year-old Joseph Johnson, was set up Tuesday by Johnson’s father asking for support for the family, which includes Johnson’s wife and four children. The family had moved to Idaho Falls from Sacramento, California, “for a better life,” the page said.
“They just bought a house. They were so happy. Any support would be greatly appreciated as Joe was the main source of income,” the GoFundMe page states.
A preliminary hearing for the 2019 battery case is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in Bonneville District Court. A status conference in the resisting arrest case is scheduled for 8:10 a.m. March 18.