Suicidal veteran fatally shoots himself outside Post Falls church
POST FALLS, Idaho — Dale L. Belieu of Craigmont, Idaho fatally shot himself outside a Post Falls church Sunday, according to police.
Post Falls police were called to the Real Life Ministries church on N. Cecil Road around 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. They found a man in his 50s standing under a cross outside of the church with a gun.
The church was having a service at the time of the incident, and people inside were put on lockdown for several hours as officers and the SWAT team negotiated with the man.
Cader Brown lives next to the church and took a video of the scene.
“He had a small pistol in his hand, had it up to his heart talking to cops on his phone,” said Brown.
Police say they used a robot to give Belieu another cell phone in order to continue negotiations with him after his phone had died. These negotiations went on for about three hours, according to Post Falls police.
Scott Haug, Post Falls Chief of Police, explained that they were “trying to create hope for [the man] and officers were trying to reassure him.”
Police say Belieu fired two shots towards the ground before firing a shot into his own chest. Officers used a flash bang to protect themselves before rushing to help Belieu.
“I wish I could have done something to make the outcome different, but we did everything we could. Very thankful no one else was injured,” said Haug.
Post Falls police believe Belieu is a veteran of the Iraq War based on conversations with him. He was transported to the Kootenai County Medical Center and pronounced dead.
No one in the church was injured.