Center of Hope shooter served as local volunteerOct 18, 2015 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
Roy Clyde pleaded guilty to the fatal shooting through a plea agreement this month.
Last in a series
Many people who knew Roy Clyde were surprised when he was accused of shooting two men in July.
On July 18, Clyde entered the Center of Hope alcohol rehabilitation facility in Riverton and shot Stallone Trosper and James "Sonny" Goggles Jr. as they lay in bed, investigators said. Trosper died of his injuries, and Goggles was flown to a hospital in Casper for treatment. Both men had suffered gunshot wounds to the head.
Clyde told police he was targeting "park rangers," investigators said. The phrase refers to transient people who drink alcohol in Riverton City Park. Some find the term racist, believing it specifically refers to vagrant American Indian people.
Heather Quinn has known Clyde for more than five years. Her sister dated Clyde on two occasions for a total of about three years.
Quinn said Clyde can be quiet and inexpressive, but her description of the alleged killer also paints a picture of an active, friendly person.
"Normally he just keeps to himself if he doesn't have anyone to talk to," she said. "He normally bottles himself up at work and at home then he sleeps and goes right back to work."
He had a friendly side, however. Clyde liked to go to municipal parks and play with his friends' kids, she said.
"He loved to go to the lake," Quinn said. "He was fun all the way around. He liked the (demolition) derbies, he liked the outdoors - he didn't want to be cooped inside all the time."
Guns were an interest for Clyde as well. Quinn thought he had at least three - one that he carried, one in his car and one in his bedroom.
"He always had a gun on him, even if we ever went to the lake, or just walking around at Day in the Park, or even at the derby," Quinn said.
Clyde was a Riverton Parks Department employee at the time of his arrest. He also has worked locally as an emergency medical technician.
Kendra Bogacz, now interim director of Fremont County Emergency Medical Services, said Clyde was an EMT for her agency for some time in 2011. She wasn't sure when his employment started or stopped.
In July, he was training to begin work as an EMT again.
"He was very nice," Bogacz said, adding, "He was not riding with us or affiliated with us."
She did not expect Clyde to commit the crimes for which he has been charged.
"Our guys were in shock when they heard it," Bogacz said. "They were in total shock because it was not something they would have ever predicted."
The Fremont County Fire Protection District website says Clyde has served as a volunteer with Battalion 1 since 2002. Fire chief Craig Haslam knew Clyde was an active volunteer who responded to many calls and attended monthly meetings. Nothing made Clyde stand out from the other roughly 200 volunteer firefighters, Haslam said.
"We'll do everything we can to make sure the community heals," he said. "Our sympathies are with the families of the victims."
Brian Potratz also volunteers with Battalion 1. His interactions with Clyde had always been positive, and the shooting surprised Potratz.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe has called for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime.
Potratz said he has not seen evidence of racism in Clyde's character.
"On the fire department he has worked with (American Indians) quite effectively," Potratz said. "Nobody in my department had any issues with him (or) hostility with him."
Clyde had experienced health issues in the recent past, but Quinn believed they had been resolved. She said he had undergone heart surgery within the last year.
"I think it was one of his ventricles wasn't completely developed," she said.
Potratz said Clyde had a titanium valve installed in his heart. Clyde had talked about the procedure with other firefighters about two months before the shooting, Potratz recalled.
"He was demonstrating ... the metallic click of his new heart valve," Potratz said. "He said, 'This is kind of cool - have you ever heard a titanium heart valve?' We got a stethoscope and listened to his heart valve."
Quinn thought Clyde's heart was no longer a concern.
"The only time he was ever worried about his health was right after he had heart surgery," she said. "He didn't want to take the wrong medications, (and) he couldn't do active things because they didn't want something to go wrong."
Clyde had been on medical leave from the fire department, Haslam said, but the chief confirmed that Clyde had been cleared by a doctor to return to service.