A Pleasanton man identified as a suspect in two kidnappings died after being shot by law enforcement in Idaho while trying to flee from state police and county deputies during a high-speed chase last week, according to authorities.
The Twin Falls Police Department identified the decedent as David James Bamber Jr., 28, of Pleasanton.
Police said Bamber had multiple felony warrants out for his arrest in California and was the suspect in kidnappings in Pleasanton and Nevada at the time of his death on Tuesday. No law enforcement officers or other members of the public were injured as a result of the cross-county chase and ensuing shooting in southern Idaho, police said.
Pleasanton police Sgt. Eric Gora told the Weekly on Friday that their investigation of Bamber began after receiving a call about a possible domestic violence incident in the city on the night of Oct. 8.
Officers responded to the scene to find Bamber and the female victim had left, but they were soon located in a parking lot, according to Gora.
Upon being spotted by police, Bamber allegedly fled the scene in the victim's car with her still inside, holding her against her will.
Pleasanton officers pursued Bamber as he sped away toward Interstate 580 and then traveled eastbound on the freeway headed for the Altamont Pass, according to Gora. They halted the pursuit after Bamber drove above 100 mph and turned off the headlights in attempts to elude police, the sergeant said.
The next morning, the victim called to report she had been released in Minden, Nev., and Bamber continued on with her vehicle. Pleasanton detectives then picked her up and brought her back, and they learned of a previous assault by Bamber in the domestic relationship, according to Gora.
Pleasanton police then issued a warrant for Bamber's arrest on suspicion of kidnapping, domestic violence and evading police, in addition to other warrants already pending against him, according to Gora. They also put out an "officer safety alert" across law enforcement systems indicating Bamber was armed and dangerous.
The Pleasanton kidnapping was not reported publicly at the time. Gora said the department decided not to put out a press release or other public advisory because of the domestic violence aspect and the fact the investigation was still fresh.
It was one week later that Bamber was spotted by authorities in southern Idaho.
Sheriff's deputies in Ada County, not far from Boise, initiated a traffic stop on Interstate 84 around 11:05 a.m. on Tuesday, but the driver fled from the deputies, according to a statement from Twin Falls police.
The Ada County deputies discontinued their pursuit of the vehicle, but subsequent investigation identified the driver as Bamber, a suspect of possibly two kidnappings, who was considered armed and dangerous and had at least one felony warrant for his arrest, Twin Falls police said.
Nearly a half-hour later, sheriff's deputies from nearby Elmore County, along with Idaho State Police officers and Gooding County Sheriff's deputies, located Bamber's vehicle and initiated their own pursuit, according to police.
"The pursuit resulted in the suspect traveling at high speeds, including driving the wrong direction on the interstate between Bliss and Wendell," Twin Falls police said.
The chase continued until just north of Wendell when Bamber's vehicle became disabled, but he then stole a pickup truck at gunpoint and drove away from law enforcement, according to police.
Shots were fired at the Pleasanton man, and ultimately the pursuit ended at a dairy near Wendell, according to police. When they approached the truck, they found Bamber incapacitated. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The area's Critical Incident Task Force (CITF), comprised of all major law enforcement agencies in the Magic Valley, then took the lead on the investigation, with Twin Falls police releasing details to the public in a post-incident statement on Thursday, including confirming Bamber's identity.
They said that at the time law enforcement re-engaged the pursuit near Elmore and Gooding counties, officers learned Bamber had felony arrest warrants pending in California for burglary and unlawful gun possession.
They also were informed about the Pleasanton kidnapping, Pleasanton police's officer safety alert, a second reported kidnapping near Bald Mountain, Nev., involving Bamber and the fact he was thought to be driving a stolen vehicle.
The CITF reported that subsequent investigation revealed that Bamber had a "lengthy criminal history" in California and that he was named as the respondent to a protection order issued in California.
The fatal officer-involved shooting remains under investigation by the CITF, which will submit its findings to the Gooding County Prosecutor's Office for review, police said.