Three dead after incident at Kamiah Sundown Hotel

Multiple law enforcement agencies and area first responders were on scene Monday evening, July 19, at the Sundown Motel in Kamiah where three people died in a reported shooting incident.

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 20, 10:15 a.m. – According to a prepared statement, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred at a motel on the 1000 block of 3rd Street in Kamiah. Lewis County deputies responded to the motel at approximately 5 p.m. Monday, July 19, after a call of shots fired. The shooting left three people dead. At this time, the incident is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide. It appears all individuals involved were acquainted with each other.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is working with detectives from the Idaho State Police. As the investigation remains ongoing, no further information is available at this time.  Identities of those involved will be released following notification of family and as the investigation allows.

Investigators do not believe there is any ongoing threat connected with this incident. According to Davis, the cooperation of the community is greatly appreciated.

In a prepared statement, Kamiah Mayor Betty Heater said, “Yesterday, the Kamiah Community experienced a great loss and tragedy. 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.”

“The Lewis County Sheriff’s Department will have a significant amount of material to work through over the coming days. I plead for your patience as they work with numerous agencies who are assisting them in this heart-breaking situation. There are people in our community who have been greatly affected by this tragedy. Please, reach out to them and let them know they are loved.”

Three dead in Monday shooting incident at Kamiah 

KAMIAH — Three people are dead in a shooting incident reported Monday evening, July 19, in Kamiah. Identification of the deceased and the cause of the incident that led up to the deaths are still being investigated by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO).

“We are still trying to figure things out,” said LCSO Sheriff Jason Davis. Idaho State Police is assisting in processing the crime scene, and additional law enforcement agencies — including the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, Nez Perce Tribe, and FBI — are assisting. “We anticipate we’ll be here throughout the night,” Davis said, “and trying to get answers.”

Information at this point is at approximately 5 p.m., LCSO dispatch received a report of shots fired at the Sundown Motel, located at 3rd and Pine streets in Kamiah. According to Davis, three fatalities were confirmed in the shooting.

As of Monday night, 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.

Both Sheriff Davis, as well as Kamiah Fire-Rescue Chief Bill Arsenault clarified for the public there is no need for a lock down for businesses, commercial or residential structures in the area, nor is there an active threat.

“Everything was contained where we are at,” Davis said, “and we’ll be processing that throughout the night.”

Traffic on U.S. Highway 12 in that area will remain open; however, Davis asked motorists to “keep going to your destination. Don’t stop and hinder what’s going on here. Let us do our job without interference.”

Residents at the motel have been allowed to leave the area, as well as to return to gather items they need, according to Davis. Those motel residents who are in an area where law enforcement is not actively processing evidence will be let in and out.

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.”

— The Free Press will be continuing to cover this ongoing story through the week. Check for updates online at
This article was updated at  11:15 P.M.

July 19, 20201 8:46 P.M.

KAMIAH -- The Lewis County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation into a Monday evening incident at the Sundown Motel in Kamiah that resulted in three fatalities. Law enforcement are withholding the names of the deceased, pending notification of next of kin. Information is limited as investigation is ongoing. The public is advised there is no imminent threat, nor need for a lockdown of residential, commercial or industrial structures. We will have more on this story as details become available.

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