Wyoming sovereign citizen killed in shootout with police

Sunday, May 6, 2018, was not a typical afternoon for two police officers responding to a citizen’s complaint of a man teaching a 3-year old child how to drive a car within the city limits of Casper, Wyoming.

As officers Jacob Carlson and Randi Garrett arrived at a dirt lot near Fairdale Park, they never suspected the adult male suspect would suddenly turn violent without provocation.

The suspect, later identified as David P. Wolosin, 38, of Casper,refused to talk when police initially encountered him. Instead, he responded by pulling out a gun and unloading a hail of bullets. Upon seeing the gun, both officers immediately retreated and attempted to take cover. In the course of doing so, one of the officers was struck at least five times in his back. A police spokesperson would later characterize Wolosin as a sovereign citizen.

Don Fuller, who represents police officers after shootings, said that Wolosin “fancied himself as ‘sovereign.’” Sovereign citizens often do not recognize law enforcement or government authority.

One witness to the shooting said they saw both officers pull up and shouted at Wolosin to turn the car off. Wolosin complied, briefly spoke to the officers, then made a phone call. Soon thereafter, shots rang out.

Another witness standing nearby reported hearing gunshots and began filming the shooting with his cell phone. The video shows Wolosin already lying on the ground, firing at officers. The officers can be seen crouched behind the suspect’s white sedan. Wolosin begins pushing himself backward through the dirt lot while still firing his weapon at police. At this point, one of the officers raises his firearm above the vehicle’s trunk and hood and fires at the suspect. Wolosin finally sustained a fatal strike and he lies motionless on the ground. He died at the scene. Fortunately, the children and other innocent bystanders were not injured.

A police dash-camera video of the incident was later released by the Casper Police Department (CPD). This video shows Officer Garrett arriving on scene first. She is later joined by Officer Carlson. As they talked, Wolosin is seen backing away from the officers slowly. At this point, Carlson moves toward Wolosin and attempts to grab his arm. Wolosin then pulls out a handgun and immediately begins firing at Carlson. Carlson appears to return fire as he falls to the ground. Wolosin also falls down. Carlson then crawls behind the suspect’s car. During the shootout, children are seen moving around inside Wolosin’s car. The two officers are seen taking turns firing at Wolosin from behind the car. After Wolosin is mortally wounded, other officers are seen running toward the victims with long guns.

Officer Carlson, who was shot multiple times, was transported to the Wyoming Medical Center where he received “immediate, life-saving treatment for his injuries,” according to a Casper Police Department press release. After receiving multiple blood transfusions, the officer was still listed in critical condition for several days. Despite the severity of his wounds, Carlson is expected to make a full recovery.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has taken over the officer-involved shooting investigation.

 

 

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