Man killed in shootout with Riverton police


By Katie Roenigk, Randy Tucker and Clair McFarland

Riverton Ranger

Via Wyoming News Exchange

RIVERTON — No officers were injured but a suspect was killed Thursday morning after exchanging gunfire with police in south Riverton.

Riverton Police Department chief Eric Murphy said the incident is not related to an ongoing double homicide investigation through his agency.

In an online statement posted at about noon Thursday, Murphy said the RPD had been working in conjunction with a federal agency on a case involving a convicted felon who was illegally in possession of firearms and was threatening law enforcement.

Murphy said officers were in contact with the male subject at about 11 a.m. Thursday at Monroe Avenue and First Street in south Riverton.

"The suspect fired upon officers who returned fire," Murphy wrote.

He said the person was then transported to SageWest Health Care at Riverton to be treated for injuries.

Murphy later confirmed that the suspect was deceased.

Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen said he would release a statement about the incident Thursday afternoon, or by Friday morning at the latest.

"The RPD can release whatever they feel is appropriate," Stratmoen said Thursday. "The coroner's office at this point is making no comment whatsoever."

When asked whether his plan to issue a statement implies that someone had died in the incident, he said, "I'm not saying anything."

Individuals associated with the Division of Officials from the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they could not comment on the incident because they were involved in the investigation.

Two blocks of West Monroe Avenue were cordoned off at around noon Thursday, and people in the area said they had heard gunshots about an hour earlier.

Civilians on the scene said they heard two groups of gunshots, perhaps a dozen overall.

They mentioned a "salmon-colored pickup" truck at the scene that appeared to have been involved in the incident.

An investigator standing in the middle of a street identified as South 2nd West was using tripod-mounted device with the the identification "Faro Focus," described online as a laser scanner that can be used to measure range, distance and angle. It has been identified as an instrument that could be used in the analysis of gunshot trajectories and lines of fire.

The device carried the identification tag "#1 Crime Lab Cheyenne."

Two other people, one dressed identically to the investigator with the Faro Focus device, were examining a late model Dodge sedan with Natrona County licenses plates, along with the ground immediately around the car. One of the two had a camera.

A resident said the Dodge was an unfamiliar vehicle in the neighborhood and had been parked there since before dawn Thursday morning.

Riverton Police Department personnel were manning a barricade near the intersection South First and West Monroe.