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New details about the deadly shoot-out in Yellowstone National Park

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jul 09, 2024

Yellowstone National Park officials on Tuesday released more details about the shoot-out between park rangers and an armed person who was threatening people last week.

Just after midnight on July 4, Yellowstone’s 911 dispatch center received a report that a woman had been held against her will by a man with a gun in a residence at Canyon Village.

The man was later identified as Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner of Milton, Florida; he was 28 years old. Fussner was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private business authorized to operate in Yellowstone.

Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner
Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner

The woman told law enforcement rangers that Fussner threatened to kill her and others, including plans to allegedly carry out a mass shooting(s) at July 4th events outside the park.

The preliminary investigation indicated Fussner was likely armed and dangerous, and rangers were strategically deployed to protect areas with park visitors and employees while searching for Fussner, and the park’s 911 dispatch center notified surrounding jurisdictions.

By the early hours of July 4, more than 20 law enforcement rangers, including the park’s special response team, were working to protect people and find Fussner. 

At about 8 a.m., rangers near Canyon Lodge, which houses employee and public dining rooms, encountered Fussner.

Fussner reportedly walked toward the service entrance of the facility while firing a semi-automatic rifle. The building was occupied by about 200 people at the time.

ranger shot in yellowstone national park

Several law enforcement rangers engaged Fussner. During the exchange of gunfire, Fussner was shot by rangers, and one law enforcement ranger was shot in a lower extremity.

Additional rangers with emergency medical training rendered aid to both the injured law enforcement ranger and Fussner. Fussner died at the scene.

The injured law enforcement ranger was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition and has since been released.

The FBI, with support from the NPS, Xanterra and other partners, is providing victim/witness support to anyone who was involved in the incident.

NPS policy for a situation in which a law enforcement officer fires a weapon calls for the ranger(s) to be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation of the incident. Consistent with US Department of the Interior and NPS policies, the NPS will release available body worn camera footage of the incident within 30 days.

The investigation into the incident, including the actions of the National Park Service law enforcement rangers, is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and will be reviewed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming.  

We will update you if we get more information.

shooting in yellowstone national park july 2024