Update from July 4th: Police intervention in shooting in Yellowstone National Park

Update from July 4th: Police intervention in shooting in Yellowstone National Park
Update from July 4th: Police intervention in shooting in Yellowstone National Park

Date of publication of the press release: July 9, 2024

Contact: Morgan Warthin, 307-344-2015

Update from July 4th: Police intervention in shooting in Yellowstone National Park

Release date: July 9, 2024

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – On the morning of July 4th in Yellowstone National Park Law enforcement officers located a man firing a semi-automatic rifle at a restaurant in Canyon Village in the central part of the park. The shooter was identified by the Park County, Wyoming, coroner as Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, 28, of Milton, Florida. Fussner died after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement officers. The investigation into this incident, including the actions of National Park Service (NPS) law enforcement officers, is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and reviewed by the District of Wyoming Attorney General’s Office.

Shortly after midnight on July 4, Yellowstone Emergency Services received a report that a woman was being held against her will by an armed man in a Canyon Village residence. She also told police officers that Fussner had threatened to kill her and others and that he allegedly had plans for a mass shooting on July Events outside the park.

Officers who arrived found his vehicle unoccupied in the canyon area. Preliminary investigation indicated Fussner was likely armed and dangerous. Because the man was on the run, officers were strategically deployed to protect areas with park visitors and employees while they searched for Fussner. The park’s emergency dispatch center notified surrounding counties. In the early morning hours of July 4, over 20 NPS officers, including the park’s special operations team, worked to keep people safe and find Fussner.

At approximately 8 a.m., police officers stationed near Canyon Lodge, which houses the dining rooms for employees and the public, encountered Fussner. Fussner reportedly walked toward the facility’s servants entrance while firing a semi-automatic rifle. The building was occupied by approximately 200 people at the time. Several police officers tackled Fussner. During an exchange of gunfire, Fussner was shot by police officers. Additionally, a police officer was shot in a lower extremity. Additional Rangers with emergency medical training rendered aid to both the injured police officer and Fussner. Fussner died at the scene. The injured police officer was taken to an area hospital in stable condition and has since been released. No other physical injuries were reported.

Fussner was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private company with a license to do business in Yellowstone.

The FBI, with support from NPS, Xanterra and other partners, is offering victim and witness assistance to everyone involved in the incident.

NPS policy for a police-involved shooting is that the police officers involved will be placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated. In accordance with Home Office and NPS policy, the NPS will release available body-worn camera footage of the incident within 30 days.

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

Police involved in shooting in Yellowstone National Park

Release date: July 4, 2024

  • Last night and this morning, July 4, there was a major police incident in Canyon Village in the central part of Yellowstone National Park.

  • There are no active threats to the public.

  • Rangers responded to a report of a person with a firearm making threats. When rangers made contact with the person, gunfire ensued between the person and law enforcement officers.

  • The person has died. We are not disclosing the person’s identity at this time.

  • A Yellowstone Police Department park ranger was injured. He is in stable condition and is being treated at a nearby regional hospital.

  • An area around the Canyon Lodge complex remains closed for the investigation.

  • The FBI is leading the investigation with assistance from special agents from the National Park Service.

  • The details of this incident are under investigation. No further information is available at this time.