New details released about shooting in Yellowstone National Park - East Idaho News

New details released about shooting in Yellowstone National Park

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — New information has been released after a shooting suspect died following a gunfight with Yellowstone park rangers on the fourth of July.

It began just after midnight on Thursday, according to a news release from park officials. Yellowstone dispatch received a report that a woman had been held hostage by a man with a gun in a residence at Canyon Village.

The woman told officers the man, later identified as 28-year-old Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, threatened to kill her and told her about plans to carry out mass shootings at July 4th events outside the park.

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Park rangers found Fussner’s car unoccupied in the Canyon area and “strategically deployed to protect areas with park visitors and employees while searching for Fussner.” Park dispatchers also notified law enforcement in surrounding areas.

By the early morning, over 20 NPS law enforcement rangers, including the park’s special response team, were working to protect park-goers and locate Fussner.

Around 8 a.m., rangers were surveilling the area near Canyon Lodge, which houses employee and public dining rooms, and found Fussner.

Fussner reportedly walked toward the service entrance of the building while firing a semi-automatic rifle. About 200 people were inside at the time.

Several rangers engaged Fussner, and he was killed while shots were being fired. One of the rangers, whose gender was not specified, was shot as well. The ranger was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition and has since been released.

No other injuries were reported.

Fussner was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private business authorized to operate in Yellowstone, according to the news release.

The FBI, with support from the National Park Service, Xanterra, and other partners, is providing victim and witness support to anyone involved in the incident.

Law enforcement officials with the NPS who were involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, per its policy.

The NPS will release available body-cam footage within 30 days.

“Thanks to the heroic actions of our law enforcement rangers, many lives were saved here last Thursday,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly in the news release. “These rangers immediately confronted this shooter and took decisive action to ensure he was no longer a threat to public safety. We are working now to provide maximum support to those involved and their families. We appreciate the support of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and many other partners as we continue to manage through the aftermath of this incident.”