KAMIAH — “...a great loss and tragedy,” for the community of Kamiah, commented Mayor Betty Heater following Monday evening’s shooting incident at a local motel that resulted in three people dead.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is lead investigating agency on a possible murder-suicide, which occurred July 19 at the Sundown Motel on 3rd Street.
“It appears all individuals involved were acquainted with each other,” stated Sheriff Jason Davis in a prepared statement.
As of press time Tuesday, identities of those involved were being withheld pending location of and notifying families.
Investigators stated for the public there is no ongoing threat connected with this incident.
“Everything was contained where we are at,” Davis said, in a Monday evening interview.
A report of “shots fired” resulted in mobilization of multiple law enforcement agencies to Kamiah. LCSO Dispatch received the report at approximately 5 p.m., and Lewis County deputies responded.
As of press time, there is no confirmation on the status of the suspect in this incident, or if the suspect is one of the three listed as deceased.
Davis said no information is available at this time on what situation led up to Monday’s shooting.
Idaho State Police assisted in crime scene investigation, which ran throughout the night. Residents at the motel were allowed to leave the area, as well as to return to gather items they needed, according to Davis. Those motel residents who were in areas where law enforcement was not actively processing evidence were able to be let in and out.
No law enforcement officers or first responders were injured in the incident, according to Davis.
Asked on how this incident compares with those he has dealt with in the past, Davis said, “This is over the top with what we’ve dealt with recently.”
Speaking to this community tragedy, Mayor Heater stated, in a prepared release, “It was an even greater loss for the families of the victims of the shooting. My heart breaks for their loss and I cannot imagine the pain they are in. They are in our prayers.”
“There are people in our community who have been greatly affected by this tragedy,” she said. “Please, reach out to them and let them know they are loved.”
Heater noted LCSO will have a significant amount of material to work through during the coming days, and “I plead for your patience as they work with numerous agencies who are assisting them in this heartbreaking situation.”
Heater also thanked those in the community who came to help, as well as the multiple responding emergency service agencies:
LCSO (sheriff, deputies, 911 dispatch), Kamiah Fire-Rescue (Chief Bill Arsenault, firefighters), Kamiah EMS, Grangeville Police Department, Idaho County sheriff’s and coroner’s offices, Nez Perce Tribal Police, Nez Perce County Coroner’s Office, ISP, FBI (Spokane office) and USFS law enforcement.