The widow of Brent "Jake" Jacobson, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer fatally shot during a manhunt for two armed men last Thursday, says her husband was an avid outdoorsman who loved being in the forest.
"Jake always said, if he ever had to die, he'd go out in the woods," Barbara Jacobson said. "He'd go out in the woods and go hunting and never return."Jacobson, 41, was with four other officers hunting for two men in the wooded hills west of Dover on Thursday when he was killed in a shootout. He was the first Forest Service law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.
He lived with his wife and two stepchildren in the tiny community of Sagle, just a short distance from the home where a robbery last Wednesday night triggered the 20-hour manhunt.
Two robbers terrorized the occupants of a home on an adjoining road, then fled, first in a car and then on foot into the woods. Jacobson was asked to join the search party because of his familiarity with the area's terrain and his expertise in tracking, Bonner County Sheriff Chip Roos said.
Autopsy results released Saturday showed Jacobson was shot in the back, below the protective panels of his bullet-proof vest, with a 12-gauge shotgun, Bonner County Coroner Dale Coffelt said.
Joseph Pratt, 27, and his brother James, 29, are being held without bond in the Bonner County Jail on charges of first-degree murder in Jacobson's death, and several other felony counts from the robbery and shootout. They surrendered 11/2 hours after the ambush.
Roos and other officers said Jacobson excelled at leading law enforcement officers through the forest.
"We always felt real comfortable going into the woods with him," said Wayne Longo, regional supervisor of the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement. "He knew how to get around."
"He was remarkable in everything he did," said Sandpoint patrolman George Gow, a former Bonner County narcotics officer. "He was an outstanding officer."