The Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney determined that the Boise Police Officer and Ada County Sheriff’s Deputy involved in the shooting of Gavin Donithorne, on March 8, 2023, were justified under the law.
This critical incident occurred on March 8, 2023, and began around 8:30 a.m. when family members of Gavin Donithorne called Ada County Dispatch reporting that Donithorne had threatened their lives and was currently driving from Portland to Boise. Donithorne had a long history of violence, some of which involved incidents with his family. Around 9:30 a.m. Boise Police officers learned Gavin’s vehicle had entered Idaho and his parole officer in Oregon was working to obtain an agent's warrant for his arrest.
Based on the evidence, BPD officers also determined there was probable cause to arrest Gavin for felony stalking. Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies in Eagle located Donithorne’s vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. Donithorne fled from them exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour as he entered Boise. ACSO Deputies terminated the pursuit due to the danger presented by Donithorne’s multiple acts of reckless driving. Boise Police Officers and an ACSO Sergeant located Donithorne’s vehicle as it pulled into a parking lot at Apple Street and Boise Avenue. Two BPD officers, riding together in a marked BPD patrol car, pulled in behind Donithorne, blocking his exit. Officers exited their patrol car and gave Donithorne commands to show his hands. Donithorne exited the vehicle and pointed a black pistol at the officers. The officer on the passenger side fired nine rounds at Donithorne with his service weapon. During this exchange, additional officers arrived and Donithorne fled while holding the pistol in his hand. Donithorne turned and ran toward an Ada County Sheriff’s Sergeant, who discharged five rounds from his duty weapon at Donithorne. Donithorne then ran Southeast on Boise Ave. for some distance before ultimately dropping the pistol and lying down on the ground near Greenwood Circle where he was taken into custody. Donithorne had one gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital where he was treated before being booked into the Ada County Jail.
Investigators identified the pistol Donithorne was carrying as a “CO2-powered full auto blowback BB gun pistol.” There were no distinguishing markings that would readily identify the pistol as a BB gun.
Donithorne pled guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault on certain personnel and eluding a police officer. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, with five fixed, on November 7, 2023.
“We would like the thank the Ada County Prosecutors Office, the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney, and the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force (CITF) led by the Meridian Police Department for their thorough review of this incident,” said Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar.
A redacted version of the CITF report will be available later this week at https://adacounty.id.gov/sheriff/about-us/critical-incidents/
A video report, with on-body camera footage and surveillance video, is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Zni44qTZy7A