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Fundraiser dinner highlights aid efforts for sheriff’s deputy shot in the line of duty

October 10, 2018

Bingham County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Howell and his wife, Kathy, participate in a 2017 police golf outing. Howell is recovering from being shot in the line of duty, and friends and supporters have created fundraising accounts to help him through Zions Bank, GoFundMe and PayPal.

BLACKFOOT — Supporters of a Bingham County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the line of duty have started numerous fundraising efforts to help aid the man in his recovery.

Several online and in-person donation methods have been established for the deputy who was shot, Sgt. Todd Howell, and the Bingham County Sheriff’s office has scheduled a fundraiser dinner for Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Blackfoot Elks Lodge at 123 North Ash St. in Blackfoot.

The Blackfoot Fire Pipes and Drums and the Idaho Falls Fire Department Pipes and Drums will perform at the event and will have their merchandise available for sale with all proceeds benefiting Howell and his family. Dinner at the event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will include a menu of hamburgers and fries, chicken-fried steak and fries and roast beef and potatoes.

In terms of donations, friends and colleagues can visit any Zions Bank Branch and donate in the name of Todd Howell. Donations can also be mailed to the Blackfoot branch at 1350 Parkway No. 1, Blackfoot, Idaho 83221. Donations in Howell’s name can also be made via PayPal by contacting gaustin@co.bingham.id.us.

A GoFundMe account established on Sept. 27 in Howell’s name was $2,005 toward a $5,000 as of Tuesday evening. A post accompanying his account indicated Howell’s wife, Kathy, is taking time off of work without pay and is now “his primary support and caretaker while he is on this long road to recovery.” The fundraiser can be found at www.gofundme.com/shot-in-the-line-of-duty.

Howell was shot in the line of duty on the night of Sept. 21 outside of a Firth home while confronting a suspect in recent Bonneville County armed robberies, 22-year-old Juan Santos-Quintero, of Idaho Falls.

Police said Howell and two other deputies responded to a home near 700 North 600 East in Firth around 7 p.m. The deputies were responding to a report of a person driving down a roadway while firing a gun out of the car window and the suspects reportedly fled to the home. The deputies were reportedly asking the occupants of the home to come outside when Santos-Quintero allegedly shot Howell.

Several law enforcement agencies including the Bonneville County Special Tactics and Rescue Team and the regional Special Tactics and Rescue team responded to the scene and took Santos-Quintero into custody after more than two hours of negotiations.

Santos-Quintero has been charged in Bingham County in relation to the officer-involved shooting with two counts of aggravated assault against a peace officer, one count of aggravated battery against a peace officer and unlawfully possessing a firearm.

Santos-Quintero faces up to life in prison if convicted of being a habitual offender in the state of Idaho.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Danny Clark told the Journal on Tuesday that if charges against Santos-Quintero arise stemming from the several armed robberies there, they should be filed on Thursday.

The bullet that struck Howell was removed from his body on Sept. 26 and will be used as evidence, according to a press release issued on Sept. 27 by Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland.

Rowland said in the press release that the preliminary investigation showed that the bullet didn’t hit the protective Kevlar of Howell’s bullet-proof vest.

“It went through the vest carrier and the material covering of the Kevlar panel and into Sgt. Todd Howell’s body,” Rowland wrote.

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