- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A southeast Idaho sheriff wants to have a one-on-one conversation with a tribal leader following an armed standoff where the sheriff says the tribe threatened to confiscate the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.

Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said he hopes to meet with Fort Hall Tribal Council Chairman Nathan Small, the Idaho State Journal reported (https://bit.ly/Y2sImA) in a story on Wednesday.

The seven-county Southeast Idaho SWAT team responded about 3 a.m. Saturday to a residence on the reservation after neighbors reported gunshots. During the 18-hour standoff, Ray Broncho fired at officers and neighboring houses with a rifle before surrendering, police said.

Also during the standoff, Nielsen said, a Fort Hall Tribal Council member ordered the SWAT team off the reservation, threated to confiscate the armored vehicle, and called deputies “Indian killers.”

“There was definitely hate there toward law enforcement and non-tribal members,” Nielsen said. “At what point is the hate going to stop and the trust going to start?”

A tribal spokeswoman for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes told The Associated Press on Wednesday that an official statement will be made next week concerning Saturday’s events.

Fort Hall police, after being shot at by Broncho, called the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office for help and requested the SWAT team and its BearCat armored vehicle, police said. “It’s my understanding a police car had been hit,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen said that when he arrived, the SWAT team was about to depart because a Tribal Council member told them to go and also told them to leave their equipment as it was being confiscated.

Nielsen said he ordered the team to leave to defuse the situation. After a meeting with the FBI, Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland and Tribal Council members at a command center, the SWAT team returned.

Tribal Council members during the meeting wanted to talk about an incident in November where a Bannock County deputy shot tribal member Kevin Toane after police said Toane backed into the deputy’s vehicle following a high-speed chase, Rowland said.

Toane survived, but he required surgery on his jaw and neck. He was later charged with eluding and aggravated battery. Tribal Councilman LeeJuan Tyler is Toane’s uncle.

“I told them they had an obligation to protect citizens,” Rowland said. “I just told them it’s all or nothing. You either want the (SWAT) team or you don’t.”

While at the scene, the armored vehicle was used to shuttle neighbors away from Broncho’s home.

“More than 50 officers were willing to put their lives on the line to help another law enforcement agency,” Nielsen said. “I told my SWAT guys, ‘Let’s take this guy alive’ and they performed extremely professionally.”


Information from: Idaho State Journal, https://www.journalnet.com

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