PAGE -- A police officer responding to a domestic violence call shot and killed a well-known Page businessman during a fight Sunday night.
The shooting is believed to be the first officer-involved shooting in Page's 54-year history.
According to information from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, William Foust, 50, of Page, was pronounced dead at the Page hospital a short time after the shooting. The officer involved, Shawn Wilson, who has five years on the force, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal and an administrative investigation into the shooting.
The shooting happened at 6:16 p.m. on the 800 block of Vista Avenue at B & T Marine, owned by Foust. At about 6 p.m., Page police received a 911 call of a domestic violence incident happening at the business.
Before Wilson arrived, the suspect, Foust, had fled the area. While the officer was talking with the female victim, Foust returned and engaged in a heated argument with the woman.
According to the sheriff's office, Foust was "upset, loud and confrontational with the officer."
Wilson and Foust went outside the business and were soon involved in a physical altercation. Foust, according to the sheriff's office, attempted to gain control of the officer's Taser.
"The officer discharged his service weapon, striking Foust," stated a press release issued by the sheriff's office.
According to information from the police department, Wilson received minor injuries from a physical confrontation prior to the shooting.
Wilson and a second officer who arrived on the scene attempted to save Foust's life while the Page Fire Department responded with medics.
Page police Capt. Ray Varner said that Wilson is on paid administrative leave.
Police Chief Charlie Dennis said during a Monday afternoon press conference that he requested the Coconino County Sheriff's Office to conduct the criminal investigation. Assisting the sheriff's office is a Northern Arizona Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Team led by Lt. Tim Cornelius of the Sheriff's Office.
Dennis said he also contacted Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and requested investigators from his agency to conduct the internal investigation, and Halliday agreed.
Upon completion of the sheriff's office investigation, the case will be turned over to the Coconino County Attorney's Office for review to determine if criminal charges apply in the case.
PRIOR CONTEMPT ARREST
Foust, who owned B & T Marine with wife Toni, was jailed in December after filing sovereign citizenship status regarding a court matter in Kanab, Utah. Foust was contesting a traffic ticket received July 1 for speeding in Kane County, Utah, when he refused to acknowledge authority in the courtroom.
Foust had made a slew of filings, including an affidavit of political status, Uniform Commercial Code financing statement, a property list, power of attorney, commercial security agreement, indemnity bond, hold harmless and indemnity agreement, non-negotiable security agreement, legal notice and demand definitions, along with a motion to dismiss.
He also refused to provide his birth date to the court, failed to appear and was charged with contempt. His fine for a traffic violation increased from $115 to $1,052. The contempt fine was later reduced to $250.
Page, founded in 1957 by builders of Glen Canyon Dam, has experienced only a few homicides. A night clerk of a motel one block from B & T Marine was killed in 1995, and a transient was beaten to death at Page City Park in February 2008. In 1998, a 40-year-old man died of injuries sustained in a bar fight, with the charge reduced to manslaughter. The city also recorded a murder in 1983, also from a bar fight.
Larry Hendricks reported from Flagstaff and can be reached at 556-2262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.