A traffic stop nearly turned deadly for police in Spirit Lake, triggering a manhunt that ended in Athol, Idaho early this morning.
A police officer tried stopping 22-year-old Dillen James Endres in Spirit Lake for a traffic violation, but instead of stopping Endres fired a gun at officers, hitting their patrol cars. He then led police on a pursuit east on Highway 54 exceeding 100 miles per hour before crashing his vehicle at the dead end of a small mountain road called Good Hope Road near Athol.
Endres crashed his SUV into a wood pile; the SUV burst into flames, taking the wood pile up with it.
"First thing I heard were sirens coming down my road," Justin Doty said.
Doty and his son Jacob had quite the morning Thursday.
"I knew there was something big going on because by the time I got to the end of the road there were twenty more cop cars coming up this way," Justin Doty said.
He's not exaggerating; after the officers were shot at, deputies from Kootenai County and officers from Coeur d'Alene joined the pursuit, along with other agencies from both sides of the state line.
"We have had assistance from Bonner County, Spokane County and the state police and of course Spirit Lake is here as well," Kootenai Co. Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said.
Endres left the his burning vehicle and took off through the woods "over a frozen creek through some thick woods and in zero temperatures," Justin Doty said.
"Deputies were able to lock down the area and secure it until we could get more people in here, the SWAT team, the interagency SWAT team was able to come in here with the help from Air 1 from Spokane," Wolfinger said.
Helicopters and sirens weren't the only sounds neighbors likely heard during the search.
"I can't verify that it was or wasn't gun shots but it sounded like bullets going off and the cops told me there was ammo in the car that was igniting from the flames," Justin Doty said.
Endres was arrested at a property north of where he crashed.
Further details about the pursuit will come from the Idaho State Police, which has taken over the investigation, which is standard procedure when Kootenai Co. deputies are involved in a use of force case like this one.