Idaho Helicopter Shooter Still at Large
October 28, 2010 — Contrary to rumored reports, no arrests have been made in the October 14 shooting incident when a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter was fired upon and hit twice while operating in Shoshone County, Idaho. The Shoshone County Sheriff’s office and the FBI each confirmed the investigation is ongoing, reports the Lewiston Morning Tribune. “There’s a whole lot of speculation going on up there. We haven’t even done a report. We’re waiting on stuff out of the county,” Don Robinson, FBI spokesman out of the bureau’s Coeur d’Alene office, told the Tribune.
Pilot Earl Palmer, flying for Hillcrest Aircraft Co. Inc., Lewiston, was able to safely land the helicopter after he and other witnesses said at least four shots were fired, with two hitting the aircraft. One bullet cracked a critical control tube, but Palmer was able to land the aircraft safely. He said the first two bullets narrowly missed, but the third passed through the cowling within two or three feet of his head. After a fourth shot Palmer flew clear of the area and landed.
As of Thursday this week, no arrest has been made, although a man was brought in for questioning and released, the Tribune reported. Rumors that an unnamed suspect was detained and charged were denied by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney, and local officials.