BREAKING: One Man Dead in Casper After Shootout with Police
A Casper man who shot at a house next to his home on North Fenway Street late Tuesday was himself shot to death by a Mills police officer, Casper Police Chief Jim Wetzel said.
“Approximately 10:45 p.m., officers responded to the area of First and Fenway for a report of an individual who was out in front of his house firing off a bunch of shots into surrounding houses,” Wetzel said.
That individual, Jeff Hyde, lived in the little cottage next to Pamela Kandt's house for several summers, she said. He was a great neighbor who loved gardening, raising chickens and being a pal to his dog, Kandt said.
But he lost his job with an oil field service company a couple months ago, she said. He was frugal and wasn't broke or desperate, but his entire personality changed, she said. "He snapped."
On June 11, police were called to his house because he was standing outside, screaming obscenities, and disturbing the neighbors, Kandt said.
She thought something worse might happen, and it did Tuesday night.
"We were sitting in our bedroom watching TV," Kandt said. "I was holding my 16-month-old granddaughter in my arms, and all of a sudden my kitchen exploded with a shotgun blast through the window."
While she was on the floor protecting her grandchild and calling 911, Hyde shot up the dining room and living room, she said. "I've got bullets embedded in all my walls."
By that time, Wetzel said officers from the Casper Police Department, Mills Police Department, Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, and some Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers responded to the area, and set cordoned off the area with crime scene tape.
Hyde wouldn't come out of his house, and then shot at the cops, Kandt and Wetzel said.
“Ultimately, when it was all said and done, a Mills police officer was the one who fired two shots and struck the subject who was firing all the rounds in the neighborhood,” Wetzel said. “That subject has been killed, and is deceased.”
Wetzel said it was premature to determine what motive, if any, the individual had. Likewise, it was too early to tell if he was targeting officers in the area.
No officers were hurt during the incident, nor were any neighbors except Kandt's husband whose arm was hit from broken glass.
Because an officer was involved in shooting someone, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation)has been notified and will take over that part of the investigation. Because the DCI had taken over the investigation, Wetzel said could not comment further.
Kandt's grief, however, is only beginning.
"I'm just devastated," she said. "This is somebody we were friends with for several years; somebody we loved and cared about; somebody with whom we exchanged goodies back and forth."