By Cassidy Friedman
TWIN FALLS — An Idaho State Police trooper is in stable condition after being shot in the neck Wednesday morning while stopping a robbery suspect.
Trooper Chris Glenn, 34, of Kimberly, is reportedly alert and recovering at St. Alphonsus in Boise.
Adam Mower of Twin Falls has been charged with aggravated battery on a police officer, fleeing a peace officer and armed robbery.
The incident began about 7 a.m. when a man robbed the Stinker Station at 818 Shoshone St. W.
Mower was caught on a surveillance video carrying a 24-pack of Keystone beer to the checkout counter. The manager told Mower the store could not begin selling beer for another four minutes, according to a joint press release issued by the Twin Falls County Prosecutor's Office, the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office and the Twin Falls Police Department.
"He just came in to purchase beer and cigarettes but he just didn't have a photo ID," said Colleen Gooch, the gas station's manager. "He left the store — I assumed he went back to his car — and he came back in with a handgun. He just put it on the counter pointed at me."
Gooch gave Mower $524, according to the press release, and Mower drove south in a white four-door car.
She then called the police.
Glenn was first to respond.
He flipped on his emergency lights and stopped a white, 1998 Pontiac Sunfire about 7:10 a.m. at milepost four on State Highway 74. Glenn approached the Pontiac. Mower opened the door and fired one shot from a handgun into the left side of Glenn's neck, according to the joint press release. As backup arrived, Mower drove west onto U.S. 93, and then turned south toward Jackpot with officers in pursuit.
The chase reached speeds of more than 120 mph on U.S. 93, according to the press release, before Mower crossed spike strips north of Jackpot and hit the back of a tractor-trailer rig entering the road from a parking lot.
Mower's vehicle flipped and skidded for 100 yards on its roof.
Mower has been taken to St. Luke's Magic Valley Regional Medical Center. His condition is unknown.
"We're all in this together," said ISP Capt. Kedrick R. Wills at a morning press conference in Jerome. "Every police officer that wears a uniform and every employee of law enforcement's hearts go out to Trooper Glenn and his family. We all felt a sense of loss and pain today with this incident."
But not just law enforcement officers held their breaths Wednesday.
Before Glenn became a trooper about five years ago, he coached football and taught social studies at Kimberly High school.
"I know that the ISP is very tight with their officers, but I also know that in the coaching community we're pretty tight, too, and we are a little shaken up over the whole thing too," said Kirby Bright, the school's head football coach. "He's a good guy. He was a great teacher, which made him a great coach."
But most of all, Bright said, Glenn is a Bulldog.
That is why the Twin Falls resident is building a home in Kimberly for himself, his wife and his 2-year-old son.
"He's a Kimberly boy and he's got Bulldog blood and he wants to get back to Kimberly," Bright said. "His family is well-regarded in this town. I'll bet everybody's just grieving right now and saying a lot of prayers."
Copyright 2007 Times-News