U.S. Attorney: FBI Shooting of Kidnapper Justified

James DiMaggio, 40, was killed in the Idaho wilderness on Aug. 10, 2013, by FBI agents after he allegedly kidnapped San Diego teen Hannah Anderson and murdered her mother and little brother

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    Federal and state prosecutors say FBI agents acted reasonably when they shot and killed kidnapping and murder suspect James DiMaggio in the Idaho wilderness last summer after he kidnapped San Diego teen Hannah Anderson. NBC 7's Bridget Naso speaks with Hannah's grandmother who also believes the shooting was justified. (Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014)

    Federal and state prosecutors say FBI agents acted reasonably when they shot and killed kidnapping and murder suspect James DiMaggio in the Idaho wilderness last summer.

    U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson and Valley County Prosecutor Jay Kiiha made the announcement Wednesday, saying the two FBI agents who shot DiMaggio acted reasonably and should not face charges.

    The 40-year-old DiMaggio was killed Aug. 10, 2013, after he fired two shots when FBI agents descended on his campsite in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. His kidnapping victim, 16-year-old San Diego resident Hannah Anderson, was rescued by the agents.

    Prosecutors say DiMaggio killed Anderson's mother and younger brother, Christina and Ethan Anderson, and set fire to his own home in Boulevard, Calif., before fleeing to Idaho with the teenager.

    Riders Discuss Interaction with Hannah, DiMaggio

    [DGO] Riders Discuss Interaction with Hannah, DiMaggio
    A group of horseback riders who spotted Hannah Anderson and James Lee DiMaggio in Idaho backcountry discuss the details of their crucial sighting of the pair. Anderson and DiMaggio were the subjects of a widespread Amber Alert that spanned six states. (Published Sunday, Aug 11, 2013)

    On Wednesday, Hannah’s grandmother, Sara Britt, told NBC 7 San Diego that she’s pleased with the U.S. Attorney’s announcement.

    “It was justified in every sense of the word,” said Britt, adding that the FBI’s action led to the rescue of her granddaughter. “It was instantaneous. He felt no physical pain.”

    Unlike her family, Britt said DiMaggio didn’t feel pain or suffering during his death.

    “He'll never realize the forever loss that we all endure of not having our beautiful family here for the rest of our lives,” said Britt. “Hannah lost her family. We’ll all be here to protect her along the way, but it is not the same, it will never be.”

    The charred bodies of Christina and Ethan Anderson were discovered by sheriff’s deputies and fire officials on Aug. 4, 2013, at DiMaggio's burned-out property in the community of Boulevard, near San Diego.

    According to search warrants, investigators believe DiMaggio – a longtime friend of the Anderson family – “tortured and killed” Christina and Ethan on Aug. 4 before kidnapping Christina’s 16-year-old daughter, Hannah Anderson.

    In September 2013, reports released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office revealed chilling new details about the murders, saying Christina was bludgeoned to death, bound and gagged, while Ethan's remains were so badly charred, they were practically beyond recognition.

    Following the slayings, DiMaggio fled San Diego with Hannah, sparking an Amber Alert that spanned across six states.

    The pair ended up in the rugged Idaho backcountry near Cascade and Morehead Lake, where they were spotted by a group of horseback riders on Aug. 7.

    The horseback riders said their interaction with Hannah and DiMaggio was a bit odd and left them with a strange feeling.

    The group wasn’t aware of the Amber Alert when they crossed paths with the pair, but learned about it immediately after their ride in the backcountry that fateful day. The riders immediately reported their sighting to authorities, leading more than 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officials to the rural community in Idaho in search of Hannah and DiMaggio.

    The pair was ultimately found by an FBI tactical team near Morehead Lake on Aug. 10.

    Hannah was then reunited with her family, including her father, and returned home to San Diego.

    Days after her rescue, Anderson fielded questions about her kidnapping on social media and made brief appearances at local fundraisers in Lakeside.

    In late August, Hannah spoke out about her ordeal in the media for the first time in a tearful interview on NBC's "Today" show. Later that month, Hannah and her family held an emotional memorial service for Christina and Ethan in San Diego's Santee community.

    A short time after the memorial service, the teen was reportedly back on social media, answering questions online about her life and the kidnapping.

    In October 2013, Hannah appeared on “Today” once more to discuss her harrowing ordeal at the hands of DiMaggio. The teen said DiMaggio “drugged” her and said she passed out in his car during the road trip from San Diego to Idaho.

    In March, Hannah’s grandmother told the media that her granddaughter continues to undergo therapy and will likely do so for “quite some time.”

    The Associated Press and NBC 7 San Diego contributed to this report.

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