Deputy shot, suspect killed after robbery at LCCC

CHEYENNE (WNE) – A sheriff’s deputy is in the hospital and a suspect has been killed following a call to the authorities about an alleged robbery of a student at Laramie County Community College, local officials said Saturday night. 

Earlier in the day, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office was investigating an alleged robbery and assault of a person at LCCC, according to LCSO Capt. Don Hollingshead. 

Then, at about 2:25 p.m., deputies “contacted a suspect in the area of Cahill Park” regarding the alleged crime, said a news release from the sheriff’s office. 

A very brief and low-speed vehicle chase ensued, and after the suspect pulled over, there was an apparent exchange of gunfire, Hollingshead said in a phone interview. 

The shooting took place near the 3500 block of Miles Court, Hollingshead said. The area remained a crime scene into the evening, though public safety was no longer a concern. 

The deputy who was shot was in the ICU at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and was in stable condition, the sheriff’s office said. 

“The injury is very lucky in that how it hit him, it did not hit any major organs,” the sheriff’s captain said. “He is going to be fine.” 

The Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the deputy-involved shooting. Such shootings are rare in Cheyenne. The last time a deputy was shot locally was in 2011, Hollingshead said. Likewise, he said, “it has been years” since a suspect was shot by a deputy.

Man turns himself in after police ask public for tips on elk statue damage

JACKSON (WNE) – A man suspected of damaging a bronze elk statue in front of a Jackson bar has turned himself in, according to Jackson police.

The Jackson Police Department reported receiving numerous tips from the community after releasing photos of the man, who was wearing an orange ski jacket and black ball cap, when the statue was toppled. 

The suspect learned from a friend about the media attention and turned himself into police Thursday afternoon. He was interviewed by detectives and charges will be filed in this case through the Teton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, according to a news release.

Detective Philip Smith said the man was cooperative, gave his statement to police and was subsequently released. Police did not release his name.

The Jackson Police Department said several names will be forwarded to Crimestoppers for reward consideration.

Police believe the man was disgruntled after video evidence showed that he had attempted to enter The Rose but came back to the street without entering. 

He wandered around the courtyard of the Pink Garter Plaza for a few moments, grabbed a bike rack and slammed it to the ground, according to a police news release. Next, he walked over to the elk statue, lit a cigarette, and leaned against the statue. The statue wobbled for a second then the man reached over and pushed it over, the release said. 

The impact it made with the boardwalk damaged one of the statue’s antlers. Police have estimated the cost of damage at $5,000.

Skier rescued off Mount Owen

JACKSON (WNE) – A backcountry skier who spent the night on the East Prong of Mount Owen was rescued by helicopter Friday morning in a short-haul operation by Grand Teton National Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue.

The 27-year-old solo skier climbed the East Prong on Thursday, aiming to do a Cathedral Traverse in reverse from the top of the Koven Couloir toward Teewinot Mountain, a park press release said. 

The skier, a local man, realized that due to the technical nature of the climb he couldn’t get back down to the top of Koven Couloir, as he didn’t have a rope.

The man encountered whiteout conditions at the top of the East Prong. He told a Jenny Lake climbing ranger he would spend the night in a snow cave and make his way out in the morning.

The mountain received a foot of snow overnight. 

At 7 a.m. Friday the man called rangers to say he couldn’t safely proceed. Rangers and Search and Rescue short-hauled him out of the backcountry to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache. He was uninjured and able to self-transport.

Man dies after high-speed chase

CHEYENNE (WNE) – A 66-year-old man died Thursday afternoon following a high-speed pursuit that crossed from Wyoming into northern Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol said. 

At about 2:45 p.m. Thursday, the Colorado State Patrol began pursuing the vehicle, which was traveling south on U.S. Highway 85. 

Scanner traffic indicated speeds reached 118 mph during the chase, which extended for many miles. 

Master Trooper Gary Cutler of CSP said the man had been wanted for a parole violation out of Minnesota, and had previously been in jail for murder. His name has not been released. 

According to a CSP news release about the incident, a Colorado state trooper and Ault, Colorado, police officer deployed “stop sticks,” a tire deflation tool. The suspect continued to drive south, but then swerved into a CSP vehicle, causing the CSP vehicle to roll. 

The pursuit came to an end in Weld County when the suspect’s vehicle left the road and went into a drainage ditch, the release said.  The suspect died from injuries caused by the crash, and it’s believed he was not wearing a seatbelt. 

A Colorado state trooper sustained minor injuries in the crash. He was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, but Cutler said Friday afternoon that the trooper had been released. 

Highway 85 was closed for about three hours following the pursuit, Cutler said. 

The Wyoming Highway Patrol began the pursuit, but it was unclear Friday where in Wyoming the chase started and why it was initiated in the first place.

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