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Casper PD holds news conference to discuss officer involved shooting on May 6th

(KGWN)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 7:54 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Casper Police Department held a news conference at the downtown headquarters Friday afternoon to discuss more facts surrounding the officer-involved shooting on May 6.

The news conference began with Casper PD Spokesperson Rebekah Ladd reading a letter from the Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen with the facts of the case and the conclusion.

She stated that officers initially pulled the vehicle over after officers noticed the driver and the passenger were acting suspiciously, and the officers recognized a license plate violation on the vehicle.

When they approached the vehicle, the driver identified himself correctly, but the passenger misidentified himself.

Eventually, the passenger of the vehicle took the car out of park, and this caused the driver to abandon the vehicle. The driver exited the vehicle and said he was “not part” of what was happening.

The passenger, now the driver, pulled Officer Bigelow into the car and began driving the wrong way down the road. Officer Bigelow warned the driver multiple times that he would shoot the driver if he did not pull over the vehicle.

These warnings were met with a response of, “Shoot me.” multiple times by the driver. The driver also was holding a silver object in a pistol grip, and he dropped it while operating the vehicle and attempted to pick it up off the floor of the car.

Officer Bigelow warned the driver to stop reaching for the object multiple times, but the driver continued to disobey Officer Bigelow’s requests.

As the new driver continued to disobey the requests, Officer Bigelow fired his weapon. The car stopped off the roadway along the interstate, and Officer Bigelow attempted life-saving measures until the ambulance arrived on the scene about six minutes later.

The total time in the car together with Officer Bigelow and the passenger, turned driver, was 73 seconds.

Police also found two meth pipes and a felony amount of methamphetamine in the car. The original driver of the vehicle is currently free of any charges.

Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen’s letter concluded that Officer Bigelow’s actions were “wholly reasonable,” and the office has declined the case.

Police Chief Keith McPheeters also detailed the evening’s events and answered a few questions. He called the incident “tragic for all involved.” McPheeters did not speculate on what may have been the motivation for the deceased’s attempts to flee the scene.

Officer Bigelow will be back on the streets next week, and the other officer has already returned to the street.

To watch the entire news conference, check out the Casper PD’s Facebook page here. Bodycam and dash footage from the incident has also been released, and it is extremely graphic and viewer discretion is highly advised by the Casper Police Department. The footage will not be available on any of the department’s social media or web pages, but it can be found through a link on its Facebook page.

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