Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sheriff’s still searching for suspect in Oldtown shooting

Staff Writer | October 13, 2021 1:00 AM

OLDTOWN — A man wanted in connection to an early morning shooting in Oldtown is still on the loose and being sought by local law enforcement.

Bonner County Sheriff’s Office issued a Nixle alert Tuesday morning asking the public for information on the whereabouts of Eric Benzo. According to a Nixle alert issued Tuesday morning, the shooting happened near Old Priest River Road. and Highway 41. He is suspected to be driving a bronze or dark colored dodge pickup.

While additional details of the shooting are still being investigated, Capt. Tim Hemphill said it appears that the two men know each other. Hemphill said the sheriff’s office expects to release additional information soon.

Benzo has four previous cases in the Idaho court database. One case involves Benzo’s arrest in November 2020 on a fugitive warrant out of Washington state. Benzo acquired additional charges in November 2020 for trafficking methamphetamine, possessing a weapon as a convicted felon, and persistent violation. Benzo has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to appear in front of First District Judge Barbara Buchanan on Oct. 19 for a pre-trial conference.

Benzo is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts or the shooting are asked to inform Bonner County Dispatch at 208-265-5525. Law enforcement strongly urge the public not to approach Benzo.