Idaho Rancher Dies During Gunfight With Deputies Planning To Shoot His Bull As It Ran On Highway

A well-known Idaho rancher is dead after exchanging gunfire with sheriff deputies during an altercation over a bull. The bull had escaped its enclosure just north of the small Idaho town of Council and was in the middle of the highway when it was hit by a vehicle. The injured bull then became aggressive as emergency responders attempted to help the injured people in the car. As a result of the angry bull’s actions, deputies decided they would need to shoot the bull in order to maintain order at the scene. However, the bull’s owner, rancher Jack Yantis, was not having it. He allegedly drew his weapon on the deputies and exchanged fire before being shot to death. Subsequently, his wife allegedly had a heart attack after learning of her husband’s death.

Council Idaho

The Daily Mail reports on a bizarre incident in Idaho that left one person dead, a bull dead, and four people injured or hospitalized, all because of a bull that got loose on the highway. Deputies note that they were called to the scene of an automobile accident after the vehicle struck a bull in the middle of the highway. The injured bull was allegedly injured and aggressive following the incident and was making it difficult for emergency responders to help the two injured individuals inside of the vehicle. Therefore, authorities decided that the bull needed to be put down and that they would shoot it.

“The bull was very agitated and was aggressive to emergency services, as well as the other cars coming up and down the highway.”

However, as the deputies prepared to shoot the bull, the bull’s owner Jack Yantis approached carrying a riffle. The sheriff’s deputies had contacted Yantis after the bull was discovered in the road to let him know that his bull had been involved in an accident. However, they didn’t know that Yantis would approach the scene with a weapon, prepared to fight for his bull’s life.

Idaho rancher

Deputies claim that an altercation unfolded and that two sheriff’s deputies and Yantis all fired their weapons. Yantis would die from his gunshot wounds, while one deputy would suffer from minor injuries. Meanwhile, the Idaho Statesman reports that authorities contacted Jack’s wife, Donna Yantis, to inform her of her husband’s unfortunate death. Donna allegedly had a heart attack upon hearing of her husband’s death and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, along with the two unnamed individuals from the car wreck.

When the incident was over, which started with a vehicle hitting a bull in the middle of the highway, Jack Yantis was dead and the two people inside of the vehicle which hit the bull and Jack’s wife, were sent to the hospital. Meanwhile, one of the sheriff deputies was treated for an injury sustained in the gun battle.

The two sheriff’s deputies that were involved in the gun battle with Yantis are currently on paid administrative leave as the department investigates the situation and circumstances leading up to the gunfire. However, the Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman says this is the first deputy-involved shooting that he is aware of happening in the rural area.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first officer-involved shooting that Adams County has ever had. This is going to be a big hit to this community. The gentleman involved, Mr. Yantis, was a well-known cattle rancher around here. It’s just a sad deal for everybody involved, for the whole community.”

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]