A parking dispute outside a Vista Avenue-area apartment complex might have prompted two shootings, an intentional crash and a case of road rage that ended in the death of a Boise man Monday night, prosecutors say.
Shawn Nathan Fisher, 35, has not been charged in the fatal shooting of Matthew Mohler-Kerns, 28, but Boise police say they have evidence connecting him to the death.
Court hearings on Wednesday shed more light on the series of events that led police to arrest Fisher on other charges and investigate him in Mohler-Kerns' death.
Police say Fisher had the gun that they believe he fired at a driver during a crash before Mohler-Kerns was shot a few minutes later.
If the bullet that killed Mohler-Kerns matches the handgun found on Fisher and the bullet taken from the other car in the crash, that would connect the incidents.
Police and prosecutors said Wednesday that Fisher was arrested after a search and a struggle in a South Boise neighborhood. Police said he appeared intoxicated, and officers later found "spice" and "bath salts" at his home. It is unclear whether police took a blood sample for testing.
Bath salts is the street name for a family of designer drugs, and spice refers to a form of synthetic marijuana.
Fisher, who has no serious criminal history in Idaho, is in the Ada County Jail on $500,000 bond. He appeared in court Wednesday on felony counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault and using a gun in the commission of a felony in the Vista collision and shooting, and on a misdemeanor charge of kicking a police dog.
Ada County prosecutors made no mention of the shooting death of Mohler-Kerns in Fisher's court appearance or at a probable cause hearing earlier in the day. Ada County Deputy Prosecutor John Dinger said the homicide remains under investigation.
Mohler-Kerns graduated from Post Falls High School in 2003 and earned a bachelor's degree from Boise State University. He planned to enroll in a master of business administration program there in the fall, according to a death notice sent to the Statesman by his family.
His family and friends have gathered in Boise and have requested privacy. They described him in the death notice as their oldest child "tragically taken from his family."
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel.
Mohler-Kerns worked at Murphy's Seafood and Steakhouse in Boise for five or six years, said store manager Eric Gremmo. Once a cook at Ram Restaurant & Brewery, he worked his way up to manager at Murphy's, said Kevin Martinez, regional leader for Ram International, which owns both.
Mohler-Kerns was driving home from work when he was shot, Gremmo said.
"He's got a lot of friends and employees who are grieving, and that doesn't compare to what his family's going through," Gremmo said.
Mohler-Kerns loved basketball and played in a recreation league in Boise, and was not shy about joking around.
"He was just a great guy," Gremmo said.
SUSPECT IN WHEELCHAIR
Police haven't said whether they suspect that Fisher followed the driver of the maroon car from Vista to the Franklin Road area, where Mohler-Kerns was shot.
Police did say there is no known connection between the three.
In court Wednesday, Fisher sat in a wheelchair and said little. He did tell a magistrate judge that he wasn't sure whether he understood his legal rights.
None of Fisher's or Mohler-Kerns' family and friends attended the hearing.
Police said they still want to talk to anyone who might have seen Fisher driving near Vista Avenue, I-84, Franklin Road or the neighborhood near Cole and Amity roads between 8 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. Monday. Witnesses are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-2677.
Police also are searching for evidence including a cellphone, discarded ammunition from a handgun and video surveillance. Anyone with that kind of information is asked to call Ada County dispatch at 377-6790.
Copyright 2013 - The Idaho Statesman
McClatchy-Tribune News Service