Man fatally shot by park rangers at Yellowstone National Park allegedly threatened mass shooting
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Man fatally shot by park rangers at Yellowstone National Park allegedly threatened mass shooting

A 28-year-old man who worked at a company in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming allegedly threatened to carry out a mass shooting before being killed in a shootout with park rangers on July 4, officials said Tuesday.

Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner of Milton, Florida, was stopped by Yellowstone law enforcement officers early July 4 when he allegedly fired a semiautomatic rifle at a restaurant in Canyon Village, according to the NPS. There were about 200 people in the restaurant at the time, the NPS said in an update on the incident Tuesday.

Man fatally shot by park rangers at Yellowstone National Park allegedly threatened mass shooting

Authorities respond to an incident in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, July 4, 2024.

Obtained by ABC News

During the exchange of fire, Fussner was shot by law enforcement and died at the scene, NPS said. The officer was also shot in the lower extremity, NPS said. The wounded officer was taken to a hospital in stable condition and has been released, NPS said. No other injuries were reported.

Fussner was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private company authorized to operate in Yellowstone, according to the NPS. ABC News has contacted the company for comment.

City rangers began searching for the suspect after the Yellowstone 911 center received a report just after midnight on July 4 that “a female was being held against her will by a male at gunpoint at a residence in Canyon Village,” the NPS said in a news release.

“She also notified park rangers that Fussner had made death threats against her and others, including plans to carry out a mass shooting during Fourth of July events outside the park,” the NPS said.

Rangers were “strategically positioned” throughout the park as they searched for Fussner, the NPS said. Rangers stationed near Canyon Lodge — where the park’s downtown dining halls for employees and the public are located — encountered him around 8 a.m. local time as he “reportedly walked toward the service entrance to the facility while firing a semi-automatic rifle,” the NPS said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and will be reviewed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming, the NPS said. The investigation will include a shooting involving the guards, who have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation in accordance with NPS policy.

“Thanks to the heroic actions of our law enforcement officers, many lives were saved last Thursday,” Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement. “The officers 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.”