12-year-old accused of shooting dad, mystery ensues

20 Feb

UPDATE: The Bannock County coroner released the autopsy results Monday night. They simply show that Danielson was killed by a small caliber gunshot wound to the head. That doesn’t tell us much about what might have happened, or whether or not the 12-year-old boy could have been involved, but more details should hopefully shed some light on the crime.

Unless you didn’t see any local news at all this weekend, you already know about the 12-year-old who is suspected of shooting his dad Friday night near Swan Lake. Details in this case are pretty sparse, but what exactly do we know so far?

According to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was placed at about 11 p.m. Friday evening for a shooting at 30790 U.S. 91 about 10 miles south of Downey. There they found the body of 46-year-old Paul Danielson. Detectives interviewed the 12-year-old son of the victim and arrested him as the suspect in the shooting.

According to police, the boy, whose mother apparently lives in Canada, was in the home during the shooting. The 911 calls, or at very least the transcripts, will be considered evidence and thus can’t be released at this time. Basically, anything that could tell us what happened is being used by the police to tell them what happened, and therefore can’t be released.

The coroner is performing the autopsy this afternoon at about 3 p.m., so that might give us some more details about the shooting, but probably won’t tell us a lot about whether or not the 12-year-old is responsible. The 12-year-old’s detention hearing is scheduled for some time Tuesday, which will give us a better idea of what he’s being charged with, but probably won’t shed much light on the details of the incident.

Bannock County Sheriff Loren Nielsen said the case has been difficult. “It’s a tough situation,” he told the Idaho State Journal. “In pursing justice with adults, it’s in the best interest of society, with a child it’s done in the best interest of the child.”

But a case like this that involves a child is always tricky. A look at the comments on the Local News 8 story shows that some locals are getting a little worked up. Mamabeartofive questions the tactics of the police:

Is it legal for the sheriff to interview this 12 yr old without an adult present? I know how sheriff nielson “talks” to young kids. He is one person out to solve a case no matter what. No I do not know how the sheriff talked to this young man. I do know that both the son & dad are/were awesome people. A very sad ordeal.

Momoftwo73 has more questions:

was this an accident?? why would they arrest a 12 year old? this story is very vague

And itsthebottomline has some concerns for all of society:

 Very sad.  Life is not a video game, you don’t get to start over when the round starts over.   Our society is going down the tubes. I hope his family somehow finds comfort.

So for now we don’t know much at all. And we probably won’t know much for a while. After the autopsy and the hearing, we’ll know more, but there isn’t much people can hear to heal the wounds that have already cut deep into the Marsh Valley community.


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