Shelter shooter's crime astonished acquaintancesAug 18, 2015 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
Editor's note: This story, the first in a two-part series, aims to provide understanding of murder suspect Roy Clyde, who has confessed to the shootings July 18 at the Center of Hope shelter in Riverton. The story is not intended to justify the shootings of Stallone Trosper and James "Sonny" Goggles. Experts say understanding why a criminal acts can provide closure and help the community prevent future crimes by recognizing patterns that could lead to them.
Those who knew Roy Clyde say he was troubled, but they did not expect him to go into the Center of Hope detoxification center on July 18 and shoot two men, which he has confessed to doing.
Heather Quinn has known Roy Clyde for more than five years. Quinn's sister dated Clyde on two occasions for a total of about three years.
"I even seen him the day before everything happened. I seen him at the car show. He was fine ... he was laughing and hanging out with his girlfriend and her kids," Quinn said.
The Riverton Rendezvous's Rocky Mountain Car and Bike Friday Night Cruise was July 17.
On July 18, Clyde entered the detox center and shot Stallone Trosper and James "Sonny" Goggles Jr. as they rested in bed, investigators said. Trosper died of his injuries, and Goggles was hospitalized with critical injuries.
Clyde told police he was targeting "park rangers," investigators said. The phrase is a derogatory term for transient people who drink in Riverton City Park, and some find it racist, saying it specifically refers to vagrant American Indian people.
She was shocked and cried when she read about the shooting the next day, Quinn said.
"We thought something might have snapped in him or something tragic happened. I just don't see why someone would do that," Quinn said.
Members of Clyde's family said he graduated from Riverton High School. Quinn thought he had taken courses to become an emergency medical technician. An obituary for his mother lists several brothers or half-brothers, several nieces and nephews, two uncles and two aunts, most living in Riverton.
Quinn knew about a few troubling aspects of Clyde's personality, however. Drinking and drunkenness made him angry, and he especially took issue with vagrants who drank in Riverton City Park, Quinn said.
"I think the day that really hit him was Fourth of July," she said.
Quinn, her friend and the friend's daughter went to City Park with Clyde that day and sat down near the playground, Quinn said.
Early in the afternoon, they saw three people they thought were naked under a tree who looked drunk. Members of the drunk group started fighting with each other, Quinn said, and Clyde became upset.
"He didn't yell at them at first. He asked them to please leave, but they didn't," Quinn said. "He waited 20 minutes, then he went back and said he was going to call the cops, and everyone started yelling."
Quinn and her friend ended up calling the police, who came and made the unclothed and arguing people leave, Quinn said. She did not speak to Clyde afterward.
"He just walked off and went to the little (Riverton Parks Department) building that sits next to the park. He went in there, and I didn't see him for the rest of the day," Quinn said.
She next saw Clyde on July 11 at the Riverton Rendezvous Day at the Park at City Park.
"He seemed to be doing fine, doing what he does -- patrolling the park and making sure everybody was not starting anything," Quinn said.
She saw Clyde get upset with alcohol abusers who were not vagrants as well.
"It's the behavior people get afterward. People are not themselves; they're angrier after. That's why he said he didn't like my dad or my brothers because of the attitude they get when they're drinking," Quinn said. "We would just leave or get away from them as fast as possible, normally."
Along with having issues with alcohol abusers, Clyde's personality changed when his mother died, Quinn said. An obituary for his mother, Brinda Jean Frost, reported her death on Oct. 2, 2013.
"What I got from my sister was he really broke down when he lost his mom. He stopped eating, he stopped caring for himself. He went to that dark stage people go to when people lose someone," Quinn said.
He lost a job as a medic with Fremont County Emergency Medical Services, she said. Since then, however, Quinn thought Clyde's brother helped him straighten out.
Correction: This story should have said Roy Clyde's mother died Oct. 2, 2013. Other family members not quoted in the story said Clyde's drug use was confined only to medication prescribed after he had heart surgery. The story also should have said he graduated from Riverton High School. The story said Heather Quinn and her sister formerly had lived with Clyde. Heather Quinn did not. The correction was made Aug. 20.