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Pavillion man shot, killed by deputy sheriff

Mar 1, 2012 - Christina George, Staff Writer

By Christina George

Staff Writer

A Fremont County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed a Pavillion man Wednesday night after responding to a report of a "disturbed, barricaded subject" at a home in the small town, the agency reported.

Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee declined to identify the deputy involved in the shooting, but Sheriff's Office dispatch records show the officer assigned to the call was Mike Hutchison.

"The deputy sheriff is on paid administrative leave at this time, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation," Lee said in a news release issued Thursday morning.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan declined to release the identity of the shooting victim because agencies are "just getting started" with the investigation.

"The Sheriff's Office, DCI (Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation) and the coroner's office are investigating the shooting death of a man from Pavillion last night," McAuslan said Thursday morning.

According to the dispatch report, law enforcement received a call at 8:35 p.m. on Feb. 29 concerning a suicide threat in the 300 block of South Pine Street in Pavillion.

"We had more than one deputy on scene, but only one deputy involved in the lethal force," Lee said in a follow-up interview.

He said the deputy was "forced to use lethal force after an ensuing lethal confrontation with a man at that residence."

Lee said the deputy fired his gun, and a single bullet struck the man.

The victim was transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

County Sheriff Skip Hornecker said there were several hours between the time deputies responded to the call and when the shooting occurred.

"I can't reveal the exact time because of the weight of the investigation, but it was several hours," Hornecker said.

McAuslan did not have the exact time of death.

Because a sheriff's deputy was involved in the shooting, the investigation was turned over to DCI.

"It's a common practice throughout the state," Lee said.

"Everything possible is being done at this time to ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigation and the well-being of those involved," he added.

Lee directed inquiries for further information to Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn's office. Varn, in an e-mail Thursday morning said he would not comment on a case that is ongoing and that he has not seen.

Hornecker said in his 28 years with the sheriff's office, he could not remember a fatal shooting that involved a deputy.

"I can't recall it ever happening, at least as a fatal," he said.

"It's pretty traumatic for the department right now and for the victim's family," Hornecker went on to say. "It has been tough on everyone involved."

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