Casper, WY – A man who considered himself to be a sovereign citizen repeatedly shot a Casper police officer in the back on Sunday afternoon, leading to a gunfight with police (video below).
The unnamed officer was hospitalized with “life threatening injuries,” the Casper Star Tribune reported.
The gunman was fatally shot when police returned fire.
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.
Two Casper police officers arrived at the scene, and told 38-year-old David Wolosin to stop the vehicle, a witness told the Casper Star Tribune.
Wolosin refused to speak to the officers, and instead made a phone call. He then stepped away from the officers, before he turned and opened fire on them without warning.
“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.”
As the officers sought cover behind Wolosin’s vehicle, the gunman shot one of the officers in the back five times, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
Cellphone footage showed the officers exchanging gunfire with Wolosin, as he laid on his side in the open dirt lot.
Wolosin was fatally shot during the gunfight, and died at the scene.
The children, who remained inside Wolosin’s vehicle during the altercation, were uninjured.
“It was a pretty surreal thing.,” Travis Barker, who witnessed the incident, told KCWY. “Maybe 15-20 shots and it was over.”
The unnamed officer was rushed to the hospital with “life-threatening injuries,” and received multiple blood transfusions, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
He remains in critical condition.
Attorney Don Fuller, who often represents police officers in officer-involved shooting incidents, said that Wolosin “fancied himself as a sovereign,” and refused to recognize the authority of the government.
“That’s what we know so far,” Fuller said. “These officers were left with no choice, and they acted heroically.”
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was handling the officer-involved shooting investigation, and surrounding agencies provided assistance in handling calls for the Casper police department, city officials said in a press release.
“CPD appreciates all the support the community is showing us during this trying time!” the post read.
The campaign had raised nearly $30,000 as of Tuesday morning.
You can watch cellphone footage of the gunfight in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: