On May 6, 2018, Casper Police Department Officer Jacob Carlson responded as backup to Officer Randi Garrett who was on a call involving a vehicle complaint concerning two small children being allowed to drive a car in a vacant lot. Following Officer Garrett’s initial contact, the adult supervising the two children (ages 9 and 5) was uncooperative. When Officer Carlson arrived, the suspect acted erratically, made alarming statements, and then appeared to turn to flee the area on foot.
Officer Carlson reached toward the suspect who suddenly drew a concealed firearm and fired point blank at him. Officer Carlson was struck multiple times. Although some rounds were stopped by his vest, he did receive one critical wound that destroyed nearly four inches of an artery. Despite receiving this at the onset of the encounter, he was able to deliver return fire that temporarily stopped the suspect’s assault. His actions also created the opportunity for Officer Garrett to reach cover and avoid the gunfire. Officer Garrett repeatedly moved from this position of relative safety in order to ascertain the whereabouts and actions of the assailant.
Officer Carlson was struck by additional gunfire, ultimately struck by seven gunshots. Regardless, he continued to return fire upon the suspect as well as provide critical information to Officer Garrett. However, during the battle, Officer Carlson’s service weapon was struck while he was firing upon his attacker, resulting in the permanent disabling of his weapon. In the face of a life-threatening loss of blood, Officer Carlson systematically worked to return his weapon to service against the ongoing assault. Finally, Officer Garrett, at great peril to her life, exposed herself to the assailant to deliver a single, accurate, controlled gunshot that stopped him.
Officer Carlson was transported to the Wyoming Medical Center in critical condition and ultimately recovered from his injuries. The assailant was mortally wounded and succumbed to his injuries.
The courage, bravery, and decisive actions of both Officers Carlson and Garrett, performed at great personal risk, quickly brought to an end the violent actions of the assailant, and prevented injury to the two children and citizens in the area.