Casper, WY – The Casper Police Department has released dashcam footage of a May 6 gunfight between a sovereign citizen and two of its officers.
Officer Jacob Carlson, a three-year veteran of the force, was shot five times during the altercation with 38-year-old David Wolosin, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
He was hit twice in the legs and once in the lower abdomen. Two rounds were at least partially stopped by the officer’s ballistic vest.
Officer Randi Garret, who returned fire, was uninjured.
Wolosin was fatally shot by officers, and died at the scene.
The incident began at 1:36 p.m., when police received a call that a man was allowing children – one as young as three years old – to drive a motor vehicle in a vacant dirt lot.
Dashcam footage, which did not include audio, showed an officer traveling into the parking lot, where a white car was moving in reverse.
The vehicle stopped as the officer walked down and made contact with Wolosin in the front passenger seat.
Wolosin stepped out of the vehicle, and appeared to be focused on something in his hand.
Don Fuller, an attorney representing the officers, said that Wolosin refused to speak, and that he instead made a phone call, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
Wolosin “fancied himself as a sovereign,” and refused to recognize the authority of the government, Fuller explained.
A second officer arrived at the scene a moment later, and joined Wolosin and the initial officer near the parked vehicle.
Wolosin immediately moved towards the rear portion of the car, and began shooting at the officers, the video showed.
The officers rushed to back away, and one officer collapsed to the ground before they both found cover behind Wolosin’s vehicle, and returned fire.
“During that contact, the male unexpectedly drew a firearm and engaged the officers in gunfire,” the Casper Police Department said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “The two officers returned gunfire.”
Cellphone footage showed the officers exchanging gunfire with Wolosin, as he laid on his side in the open dirt lot.
“It was a pretty surreal thing.,” Travis Barker, who witnessed the incident, told KCWY. “Maybe 15-20 shots and it was over.”
Officer Carlson was rushed to a local hospital with “life threatening injuries,” and received multiple blood transfusions, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
Two children inside Wolosin’s vehicle were uninjured, police said.
Officer Carlson’s condition has continued to steadily improve, the department said in a Facebook post on Sunday, which also happened to be Mother’s Day.
“For the first time, Jacob is able to answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions posed to him by the nurses and his family, including those from his mother,” the department wrote. “Jacob is clearly frustrated with the breathing tube that prevents him from speaking…but today, on Mother’s Day, it was as beautiful inside the ICU as it was outside.”
The officer’s family also released a statement through the Casper Police Department’s Facebook page.
“I just want to extend my greatest gratitude towards my family, Jacob’s family, my law enforcement family, and to all of those who have reached out during this difficult time,” the statement read. “I am overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received. I want to extend my greatest gratitude for all of the love and support we have received.”
A member of the Casper PD established a fundraising account to assist with Officer Carlson’s medical expenses.
“Please help our injured Casper, Wyoming officer and his family during this terrible crisis,” the page read. “ Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and please pray.”
The campaign had raised nearly $72,000 as of Monday afternoon.
You can watch dashcam footage of the gunfight in the video below. The shooting starts at about the 3:30 mark: