Suspect’s chilling plan revealed before his death in shootout with rangers at Yellowstone National Park
3 mins read

Suspect’s chilling plan revealed before his death in shootout with rangers at Yellowstone National Park

Horrifying details have emerged of an alleged plot by a gun-toting man in Yellowstone National Park before he was detained by rangers.

Samson Fussner, 28, was shot and killed July 4 during a shootout with park rangers as families gathered at the historic site to celebrate the holiday weekend.

Police responded to the scene shortly after midnight in response to reports of a woman being held against her will at gunpoint. The man fled, and officers conducted an hours-long search of the park.

In the early morning hours, Fussner was attacked and shot dead by municipal guards when he began firing a semi-automatic rifle at a building that was occupied by about 200 people.

According to KRTV, a woman he detained later testified that he described in detail a plan to carry out gruesome shootings during Fourth of July parties at the national park.

Suspect’s chilling plan revealed before his death in shootout with rangers at Yellowstone National Park

Samson Fussner, 28, was shot dead July 4 during a shootout with Yellowstone park rangers after he allegedly took a woman hostage and then threatened to carry out a mass shooting

Yellowstone Park Rangers searched the entire park before finding Fussner around 8 a.m., where he was shot and killed as he tried to open fire on a building full of people.

Yellowstone Park Rangers searched the entire park before finding Fussner around 8 a.m., where he was shot and killed as he tried to open fire on a building full of people.

Fussner, a native of Milton, Florida, was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a hospitality company that operates in many of America’s national parks, including Yellowstone.

When 911 was called, they were advised that the suspect had fled into the park and was possibly armed and dangerous.

Rangers deployed tactically throughout the park to protect vacationing families and workers while the search was underway.

At about 8 a.m., law enforcement officers stationed near Canyon Lodge, an area in the center of the park that houses employee quarters and public dining options, encountered Fussner, who began shooting.

Law enforcement searched for hours in Yellowstone for Fussner, who was described as 'armed and dangerous'

Law enforcement searched for hours in Yellowstone for Fussner, who was described as ‘armed and dangerous’

Originally from Milton, Florida, Fussner was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a hospitality company

Originally from Milton, Florida, Fussner was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a hospitality company

Rangers encountered Fussner while they were strategically positioned in the park to protect campers and workers.

Rangers encountered Fussner while they were strategically positioned in the park to protect campers and workers.

With hundreds of people inside, Fussner opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle. It is unclear whether he hit the building before he was knocked down.

This led to a shootout outside the building in which Fussner was fatally shot and one of the guards was wounded in the leg.

Fussner received immediate care from guards after being shot, but was pronounced dead at the scene, while the wounded guard was taken to hospital in stable condition. They have since been released.

As chaos erupted, witnesses took to social media to say they were told to hide in hotel rooms while the shooting unfolded.

Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said in an email to staff that “numerous” other rangers were also involved in the shooting, but no one else was hurt.

Fussner was pronounced dead at the scene, while the guard he shot survived and was released from hospital.

Fussner was pronounced dead at the scene, while the guard he shot survived and was released from hospital.

The FBI is investigating the shooting, and the guards involved have been suspended from their duties.

In a statement after the shooting, Sholly praised the efforts of the guards and said help would be offered to the victims.

“Thanks to the heroism of our law enforcement officers, many lives were saved last Thursday,” Sholly said.

“Officers immediately confronted the shooter and took decisive action to ensure he no longer poses a threat to public safety. We are currently working to provide maximum support to those involved and their families.”