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Man fires rifle seven times, wrecks later

May 6, 2015 From staff reports

A man reported to have discharged a firearm early Sunday outside of Possum Pete's in Pavillion was hospitalized later that morning due to injuries suffered in a car accident.

No one was injured in the shooting, which was reported at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Witnesses said the suspected shooter had been engaged in a spoken confrontation with a bar patron through the drive-up window of the tavern.

The two men challenged each other to a fight outside, and the suspect drove to the front of the bar, where he discharged seven rounds into the air from an automatic rifle.

The suspect then left the scene driving west on West Pavillion Road. Initial reports describe the suspect vehicle as a white Dodge Durango with a broken window.

When deputies arrived at the scene they found several rifle cartridges in the parking lot at the front of the business. They were unable to locate the suspect vehicle in the vicinity.

At about 2:30 a.m., however, deputies responded to a "major collision" involving the suspect vehicle near milepost 25 on U.S. Highway 287.

All four occupants of the vehicle, including the suspected shooter, were injured in the crash and taken to SageWest Heath Care at Lander.

Officials said witnesses in Pavillion identified the alleged shooter, but the Fremont County Sheriff's Office is not releasing that information, as the case remains under investigation by the Wind River Police Department.

"The investigating deputy obtained statements from several witnesses at the bar and the suspect vehicle's occupants," undersheriff Ryan Lee said in a press release.

"Our investigation will be forwarded to the county prosecutor for potential charges."

Clarification: This story should have said a suspect discharged seven rounds into the air from a semi-automatic rifle early Sunday outside of Possum Pete's in Pavillion. Initial reports indicated the suspect had shot an automatic "machine gun," but witnesses said the firearm actually was a semi-automatic rifle. Officials are unable to verify the type of firearm used, because they don't have the weapon in custody. It is illegal to possess an automatic weapon without a special permit.

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