Shooting Rampage Averted at Yellowstone National Park on July 4th

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was the site of a shooting incident on July 4, 2023, that left one ranger injured. Authorities revealed that the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, had held a woman captive and expressed intentions to carry out a mass shooting at Independence Day events outside the park. Fussner died after an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers.

The shooting took place at Canyon Village, an area within the park known for lodging and cabins. The park’s 911 dispatch center received a report in the early hours of July 4 that a woman was being held against her will by an armed man at a residence in the village. The woman reported that Fussner had threatened her life and others, including plans for a mass shooting at July 4th events outside the park.

Authorities found Fussner’s vehicle unoccupied in the Canyon area and determined that he was likely armed and dangerous. Law enforcement rangers were strategically deployed to protect park visitors and employees while searching for Fussner. Over 20 rangers were actively involved in the search for the suspect.

Rangers located Fussner near the Canyon Lodge dining facility as he approached the service entrance while firing a semi-automatic rifle. A confrontation ensued, and Fussner was shot and killed on the scene by law enforcement officers. Details revealed that Fussner, a resident of Milton, Florida, was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private business authorized to operate within Yellowstone National Park.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the shooting incident, with oversight from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming. The park service is collaborating with the FBI to provide support to victims and witnesses. Law enforcement rangers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation, following park service protocol.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly commended the rangers for their swift actions in neutralizing the threat and preventing further harm. Efforts are underway to offer support to those affected by the incident and their families as a part of ongoing assistance measures.