Shooting at Yellowstone Park on July 4th: Gunman Planned Mass Shooting, Ranger Injured

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was the scene of a shooting incident on July 4, 2023, where a gunman opened fire, leading to one park ranger being injured. The shooter, identified as 28-year-old Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, held a woman against her will and expressed intentions of carrying out a mass shooting at July 4th events outside the park, according to authorities.

The shooting took place at Canyon Village, an area within Yellowstone National Park located north of Yellowstone Lake. Following the report of a woman being held against her will by an armed man, law enforcement rangers were alerted to the situation. The woman reported that Fussner had threatened to harm her and others, including plans for a mass shooting at July 4th events outside the park.

Law enforcement rangers conducted a search for Fussner, knowing he was potentially armed and dangerous. More than 20 rangers were deployed to protect park visitors and employees while attempting to locate the suspect. Ultimately, Fussner was found near the Canyon Lodge dining facility, armed with a semi-automatic rifle. A confrontation ensued, leading to Fussner being shot and killed by law enforcement rangers.

Fussner, a resident of Milton, Florida, was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private business authorized to operate within Yellowstone National Park. The FBI has taken charge of the investigation into the incident, with support from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming. Law enforcement rangers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, as per park service policy.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly praised the actions of the law enforcement rangers, emphasizing that their swift response helped save lives during the incident. Efforts are underway to provide support to those affected by the shooting and their families. The park service is committed to transparency, with plans to release body-worn camera footage of the shooting within 30 days.