Pair honored for bravery at shootout

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Casey Caudill, left, and Marsha Hanna, right, were honored by Bonner County commissioners on Tuesday for coming to aid of deputies who were injured in a shootout in Blanchard in January. (Courtesy photo)

SANDPOINT — Two Bonner County citizens are being honored for assistance they rendered at the scene of a shooting that injured two deputies earlier this year.

Casey Caudill and Marsha Hanna were honored during a brief ceremony before county commissioners on Tuesday.

Deputies Justin Penn, Michael Gagnon and Tom Craffey were attempting to arrest Adam Deacon Foster outside his home in Blanchard on Jan. 16. The deputies resolved to arrest Foster on year-old battery charges after Foster allegedly made statements that he was going to kill a neighbor and vowed to kill anyone — including law enforcement — who tried to thwart his plan.

Foster fled from the deputies and allegedly took up a concealed position around the outside corner of his Mountain View Road home. Foster is accused of opening fire on Penn and Gagnon as they rounded the corner, seriously wounding both deputies.

Foster was also wounded in the ensuing gunfight.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that Craffey pulled Gagnon and Penn from the line of fire, while Foster fled into his home.

“That is when Casey Caudill stepped in and came to the aid of deputies, with no regard to for his own safety, helped Deputy Gagnon into a patrol car and drove two of the deputies away from the battle scene,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release posted on social media. “Casey Caudill exhibited courage and bravery by placing himself in danger and thinking of the deputies’ safety over his own.”

Penn, who suffered gunshot wounds to his left hand and right hip, managed to walk down a hill away from the shooting scene and encountered Hanna, who was walking her horse. Hanna, a registered nurse, moved Penn to the deck of a nearby home and attended to his injuries. She also attended to the Gagnon’s injuries after he was evacuated.

“Marsha also exhibited courage and bravery by placing herself in danger and thinking of the deputies’ safety over her own,” the news release said.

Foster is being held in lieu of $2 million bail on charges of attempted first-degree murder. A mental competency hearing in the case is pending.

Foster’s defense counsel question whether Foster is fit to proceed in the case because he appears to be having difficulty differentiating reality from fantasy, according to court documents. The state is contesting Foster’s lack of competency on grounds that he may have exaggerated his mental health issues during an exam. Moreover, Foster allegedly told investigators that he was aiming for “center mass” when he opened fire on the deputies, which suggest a clear intent.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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