RPD Chief of Police’s statement about fatal September shooting
Over the last week, statements from Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen and Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun have been released in regards to the September officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Anderson Antelope, Sr. in front of the Riverton Walmart.
A third statement from the Riverton Chief of Police Eric Murphy was released on the Riverton Police Department Facebook page today, December 6th, 2019.
Chief Murphy’s statement is posted below in full:
On September 21, 2019, an 18 year law enforcement veteran responded to a call for service at the Wal Mart store in Riverton, Wyoming, for a report that Anderson Antelope was harassing customers. While the officer was engaged with Antelope, a series of events transpired that led to the death of Anderson Antelope. While the incident is sad and tragic, the action taken was necessary for the preservation of life, not only for the lives of the innocent bystanders, and the life of the officer involved.
We as an organization and community entrust officers of the Riverton Police Department to solve a complexity of issues that have the propensity to impact lives for years to come. Use of force applications, especially deadly force applications, are not taken lightly. Officers train their entire career on these types of applications. While some use of force applications from law enforcement officers are not pleasant, they are sometimes necessary in the performance of the officer’s duties. The use of deadly force in this incident was investigated thoroughly by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and reviewed meticulously by the Fremont County Attorney. The conclusion of the investigation and review was that the officer involved in this specific incident acted reasonably and lawfully in the performance of their duty to preserve life. We as an organization also performed a comprehensive administrative investigation and found that there were no violations of policy and that the officer acted reasonable and lawful in their application of force during this incident. I, as well as the administrative staff and supervisors of the Riverton Police Department fully support the officer involved in this sad and tragic, yet necessary event.
I would like to thank the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation for the additional resources, time, and effort dedicated to the comprehensive and thorough investigation in reference this event. I would like to also extend an appreciation to the Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun for his meticulous review of all evidence, reports, witness statements, video, etc, in relation to this event.
Chief of Police
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