North Idaho

Body camera footage released in deadly shooting

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - CdA Police shooting body camera vo

Coeur d'Alene Police have released body camera video from a fatal officer-involved shooting last August.

Police officers first responded to a hit and run where the suspect -- Eric Johnstone -- hit a light pole and took off. They tracked him down to his apartment near 14th and Young and when confronted by Officer Spencer Mortensen he wouldn't put down a knife and was shot and killed.

In the video, Mortensen was first on the scene and located the truck involved in the hit and run. He took pictures of a dent on the Chevy Silverado while dispatchers tell him the suspect's name is Eric Johnstone.

"Hey Eric there's witnesses, so if we could just get your insurance and take care of this," Mortensen said.

He approaches the apartment and soon after a woman walks out with blood on her. Mortensen calls for back up and asks them to hurry.

After a failed attempt to get Johnstone outside the woman tells the officer he has a knife and she's worried he might hurt himself.

"Eric, Coeur d'Alene Police Department, come on out here, please," Mortensen said.

A minute later, with still no response from inside the apartment, Mortensen moves in, gun drawn, and finds Johnstone in the kitchen with a knife.

"Put the knife down now. Put it down. I'm serious, put the knife down," Mortensen said.

He then keys his radio and says, "I need you in this house right now."

Johnstone slowly starts walking out of the kitchen toward Mortensen in the video.

"Put the knife … I will shoot you … put the knife down. Put it down! Put it down! Put it down," Mortensen said.

Three shots are fired and Johnstone drops to the ground. Seconds after the shooting back-up arrives and Mortensen calls for paramedics.

Johnstone died at the scene.

The Bonner County prosecutor later ruled the shooting was justified.

Spokane police will soon be wearing body cameras like the ones that captured that shooting. The department approved the cameras last year and now the department is working with the police guild, the city's legal department, and the prosecutor's office to detail how they should be used.

The department hopes to have officers wearing the cameras by the end of this year.