PRESTON, Idaho – A Franklin County sheriff’s deputy was cleared on Friday, of the November 19th fatal shooting, which occurred outside Stokes Marketplace in Preston.
County Prosecuting Attorney Vic A. Pearson says that Deputy Kelly Biggs’ use of deadly force against the suspect was justified.
50-year-old, Raul Antonio Menjivar-Saabedra, of Grace, was shot and killed the night of the encounter. He had previously been released from a Behavioral Health facility in Logan.
Most of the two-hour ordeal was captured on surveillance and body cameras.
On November, 19th 2019 around 8:30 p.m., dispatch received calls about a suspicious male (Saabedra) inside Stokes Marketplace in Preston, officers responded.
Preston officer, Tuyen Nguyen made first contact with Saabedra, but struggled to communicate because Saabedra didn’t speak English. Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Olsen, was dispatched to assist, as he is fluent in Spanish.
After speaking with the suspect, Olsen decided that Saabedra was mentally unstable.
Saabedra was in possession of a 13-inch kitchen knife and had gestured toward shoppers, implying that they were there to kill him because of sins he had committed.
Saabedra also requested law enforcement kill him approximately eight times so he wouldn’t be tortured and killed by the other people, according to the memorandum.
Pearson says the shooting incident could have been avoided if Saabedra’s actions had been different. As they were, he believes Biggs’s use of deadly force was justified under the circumstances and under Idaho laws.
“This appears to be a situation where Saabedra was attempting ‘suicide by cop’ and succeeded in his attempt.” “The facts, in this case, reveal that Saabedra made himself a clear and immediate danger to Deputy Biggs who was engaged in the lawful performance of his duties.”, the memorandum stated.
The officer involved shooting was investigated by the Critical Incident Task Force led by the Pocatello Police Department.