Man suspected of shooting CDA officer had long criminal history

The man suspected of shooting a Coeur d’Alene police officer had a long criminal history, dating back to 2003 in Ada County.

Curtis Ware was killed when he opened fire on Coeur d’Alene Police Officer Charles Hatley Tuesday night. Ware was in a vehicle with two other men, when they were pulled over during a traffic stop. That officer noticed Ware had a warrant for his arrest and called for backup. That’s when Officer Hatley arrived and Ware opened fire.

“His arrest was a felony warrant for failure to appear on possession of drug charges. The bond was 50-thousand dollars,” said Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White.

Ware has a long history with law enforcement. He faced 22 cases in Ada County, before finding himself serving time in the Idaho Penitentiary. He served time for forgery and eluding an officer.

Ware was released in 2009. That’s when friends thought Ware was going to turn his life around.

“When he got out of jail the first time, I thought he was doing good and I thought he was trying to get his life back on track,” said Kady Dyer, a friend of Ware.

“He was trying to get away. He was talking about moving to Miami to go be a better person,” added Meagan Schnall, another friend.

But in December 2017, Ware found himself facing more criminal charges.

“Our CDA Police Department history goes back to just December of this last year. He was arrested by our community action team for possession of drugs. Possession with intent to deliver. Possession of drug paraphernalia and destruction of evidence,” White said.

When friends say they heard about what happened Tuesday night, they were shocked. But, Curtis Ferguson says when he got a phone call Tuesday night, he knew why.

“Somebody called me and I knew it was him. And I probably just couldn’t stop bawling for a couple hours,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson says he was friends with Ware for years, and they were like brothers. He says they served time together in the state of Idaho, and quickly became friends. He says Ware even moved to the Coeur d’Alene are to be closer to him. But he says in the last few months, he hadn’t hear much from Ware.

“I don’t know where he’s been the last, you know, in his head for a while, I don’t,” Ferguson said.

He says he doesn’t know what led to last night’s shooting, but wishes somebody could have gotten to Ware before he chose to shoot an officer.

Ware’s friends say they send their best wishes to Officer Hatley and wish him a full recovery.