IDAHO FALLS — A man wanted on homicide charges shot and killed himself in Idaho Falls as officers approached him Sunday afternoon.
The Idaho Falls Police Department was notified by the Riverside County (California) Sheriff’s Department earlier that day that Lawson Blanchette, 61, may be in Idaho Falls. Blanchette had an arrest warrant on him for extraditable felony homicide.
At 9:30 p.m. on July 5 deputies from the San Jacinto Station responded to a call of a deceased female inside a residence in San Jacinto, a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department news release said. The victim was identified as 47-year-old Marie Hannah. Investigators identified Blanchette as the suspect in her death and an arrest warrant was issued for him.
At around 4:30 p.m. Sunday an IFPD officer located Blanchette’s vehicle at 575 River Parkway near the greenbelt, an IFPD news release said. Additional officers arrived on the scene where Blanchette was soon located near his vehicle, the release said. Officers attempted to approach him without being noticed with the intention of taking him into custody. Upon seeing officers approached, Blanchette shot himself with a firearm, the release said.
Officers did not know if Blanchette was still alive after the shot was fired, the release said. They attempted to communicate with him and called for emergency medical services.
Officers then approached from the opposite side of the car and were able to confirm that Blanchette was dead. Officers found an additional handgun and spent shell casings inside his vehicle.
Police set up roadblocks until 8:30 p.m. to allow time to document the scene and clean up the area.