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Hearing scheduled for man who exchanged gunfire with police during standoff

Robert Flores Jr. | Bonneville County Jail
IDAHO FALLS – An Idaho Falls man linked to three SWAT responses and who allegedly shot at police will appear in court on a long list of felony charges.
After a nine-day hospital stay, Robert Flores Jr. was booked into the Bonneville County Jail and is now scheduled to appear in court for his preliminary hearing on May 1.
The extent of Flores’ injuries is not clear, but police say he “sustained gunshot wounds” during the incident at the Econo Lodge.
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Flores was charged with six counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers, unlawful possession of a firearm, misdemeanor resisting or obstructing officers, misdemeanor trespassing, and six felony enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon.
Flores could face up to life in prison if convicted.
According to a news release from the Idaho Falls Police Department, on April 8, police were called to the Econo Lodge at 1448 West Broadway after a report that a man and a woman had stayed past checkout and refused to leave.
When the staff called dispatch, officers were “unavailable due to other higher-priority calls for service at the time.”
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Officers arrived around 3 p.m. and identified the man as Flores, but the woman’s name has not been released.
Because of two previous significant police responses involving Flores in the past five months, officers reportedly “took extra precautions, including bringing a ballistic shield to the room and responding with multiple officers.”
Officers knocked on the door, announced who they were, and called both tenants by name. Officers said they had no warrants and were not under arrest but needed to leave the hotel.
Police opened the door and kicked it to break the chain lock. Officers tried again to communicate with them, but there was no response.
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According to the release, officers believed the two were in the bathroom. An Idaho Falls Police K9 handler yelled warnings that if the people did not come out, the dog would be sent in, and they would get bitten.
At that point, a gunshot was fired from inside the bathroom.
“Three Idaho Falls Police officers were trapped inside the hotel room, unable to get safely past the bathroom and into the hallway,” according to the release.
One of the three officers inside the room had a ballistic shield, and all three officers attempted to get behind it. Flores then allegedly reached out of the bathroom door with a gun and fired at the officers.
No officers were shot, but according to IFPD spokeswoman Jessica Clements, one officer involved was injured, but not by the suspect.
After the first shot was fired from the bathroom while officers were running for cover, in the confusion, our K9 bit one of our officers,” says Clements. “His injury is not life-threatening but has required medical treatment.”
One of the three officers fired his gun back at Flores, and a second officer in the hallway also fired. The officers inside the room reportedly believed Flores had been hit but “could hear him moving and making other noises.”
Officers called out to them but received no response. Hotel guests were then evacuated, and the Idaho Falls Police Department SWAT team was activated, with help from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.
The three officers were evacuated through the hotel room window.
The SWAT team “utilized a variety of methods to attempt to get a safe visual inside the hotel room and to communicate with (Flores),” according to the release. “Visuals showed that (Flores) was still moving but attempts to communicate with him went unanswered.”
Eventually, the SWAT team used a flashbang grenade, entered the room, and took Flores into custody. A handgun was reportedly found in the bathroom.
Police say Flores sustained gunshot wounds during the incident, and Idaho Falls Fire EMS began providing care for him once it was safe to do so. He was transported to a local hospital.
The woman initially believed to be present was not on the scene and appeared to have left sometime before police arrived.
The post Hearing scheduled for man who exchanged gunfire with police during standoff appeared first on East Idaho News.

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