Angered Residents Grill Sheriff on Why Deputies Gunned Down Idaho Rancher
Hundreds of residents packed a town hall meeting in Idaho yesterday asking tough questions of their county’s sheriff after two deputies fatally shot a local rancher.
Over 200 residents from the town of Council voiced concerns over the death of Jack Yantis, the rancher killed by deputies last week, with some leaving the assembly angry over the answers Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman gave.
Police had first claimed that Yantis, 62, engaged in a fire fight with Adams County Sheriffs deputies last Monday on US Route 95 after being summoned to deal with his injured and aggravated two-ton Angus bull.
But Yantis’ daughter, Sarah, says there was no such gun fight, and instead called the altercation a “senseless murder” that was the result of police needlessly escalating the situation.
“There was no shootout. It was a senseless murder,” Sarah told the Idaho Statesman.
Other family members who witnessed the incident also refuted the official police version of events, such as Rowdy Paradis, the rancher’s nephew, who claimed one of the deputies grabbed Yantis as the rancher attempted to aim his rifle at the bull.
“I put the (skid loader’s) lights on him and the bull, and he lined up to shoot the bull in the back of head [sic] and put him out humanely,” Paradis told the Statesman.
“Everything was going as planned,” described Paradis. “Then the one cop turned around and grabbed his shoulder and jerked him backwards.”
Paradis says he’s not sure if Yantis’ weapon accidentally discharged at this point, or if the gun fired when a deputy’s bullet struck the rifle and Yantis’ hand.
Regardless, ”One deputy began shooting at Yantis, then the other deputy started shooting,” reports the Statesman. Yantis fell to the ground injured from gunshots to the chest and abdomen.