POCATELLO — Authorities have released the name of the man Pocatello police shot Friday night following a manhunt that lasted several hours and resulted in the lockdown of an entire Gate City neighborhood.
Jake Lee Sheeler, 28, of Pocatello, was shot multiple times by Pocatello police officers on Friday night in a field behind the Red Lion Hotel in the 1500 block of Pocatello Creek Road after he allegedly stole at least two firearms from a home during a reported burglary several hours before the shooting, authorities said.
To set the record straight amid mounting speculation about the officer-involved shooting, Pocatello police said their preliminary investigation has determined that Sheeler was not shot in the back by officers and was not running away from police when shot.
Authorities said it’s likely Sheeler will face multiple felony charges for his alleged criminal actions on Friday and those charges should be filed on Wednesday.
Sheeler remains hospitalized at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello where he’s receiving treatment for his gunshot wounds, authorities said. PMC has not released any information on Sheeler’s condition and Pocatello police will only confirm that he’s still alive.
Police shot Sheeler around 8:30 p.m. Friday after a manhunt that lasted four hours and stemmed from Sheeler allegedly breaking into a home on the 1200 block of East Maple Street near Greenacres Elementary School.
He stole two guns from the residence and threatened to shoot the homeowner with the guns he had just stolen, Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei said during a late Friday night news conference held at Pocatello police headquarters. Police said that after they responded to the burglary they determined that Sheeler posed a threat to the neighborhood so they closed off all of its streets to traffic and aggressively patrolled the area in search of him.
It’s been four days since the Friday night officer-involved shooting and police have yet to say whether Sheeler was armed or not when officers shot him, whether or not he threatened police in any way prior to being shot or how many times Sheeler was shot.
In response to speculation surrounding the shooting, Schei told the Journal on Tuesday afternoon that Sheeler was not shot in the back several times as he was running away from police.
Schei said investigators are working to secure warrants for Sheeler’s medical records to confirm where he was shot and how many times but preliminary findings indicate he was not shot in the back at all.
Police administered first aid to Sheeler after the shooting until a Pocatello Fire Department ambulance arrived on the scene and transported him to PMC for treatment.
No one else was wounded during the shooting, police said, adding that three Pocatello police officers were the only individuals to discharge firearms during the incident.
Idaho State Police were on the scene when the shooting occurred but did not discharge their firearms, police said. Chubbuck police and Bannock County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene to assist after the shooting, Pocatello police said.
All three of the Pocatello police officers who discharged their firearms have been placed on administrative leave while the East Idaho Critical Incident Task Force investigates the officers’ use of force during the incident to determine if their actions were justified. The lead agency handling that investigation is the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, which will submit its findings to the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office for review and a final determination. That process could take several months.
Not much is known about Sheeler other than Pocatello police officers have had previous dealings with him and he has two pending theft-related charges on his criminal record. Sheeler faces two misdemeanor charges, petit theft and burglary, stemming from an incident on Aug. 19 in Bannock County, according to court records.
Media reports indicate Sheeler has previously been accused of several theft-related charges in Florida. Sheeler was charged in 2014 with felony burglary and felony larceny in Sumter County, Florida, for allegedly stealing items worth over $2,700 from a woman’s home.
He was also arrested in Sumter County in 2018 in connection to a separate incident in which he’s accused of stealing rings worth more than $2,000 from a Florida Kohls retail store.
More details about Sheeler’s alleged crimes in Pocatello on Friday should be available once the criminal charges against him have been filed by Bannock County authorities.