Coroner Releases Identity of Man Killed in Shootout with Yellowstone Park Rangers

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
July 6, 2024US News
Coroner Releases Identity of Man Killed in Shootout with Yellowstone Park Rangers
A man takes a picture at the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., on June 22, 2022. (George Frey/Getty Images)

The man killed in a Fourth of July shootout with park rangers at Yellowstone National Park has been identified.

Park County Coroner Cody Gortmaker confirmed with NTD News that Florida resident Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, 28, was killed in the altercation.  

Mr. Fussner worked as an independent contractor for Xanterra Travel Collection, according to his Facebook page.

Xanterra is a park and resort management company that provides tourism services, according to its official website.

It is unclear how long Mr. Fussner worked for the company but he changed his Facebook profile photo on May 8 to his work identification card. The badge shows that his agreement to work for the company was set to end on Sept. 15, 2024.

The “significant law enforcement incident” happened overnight into Thursday morning in Wyoming’s Canyon Village area located in the central part of the national park, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

“Rangers responded to a report of an individual with a firearm who was making threats,” an NPS statement said.

“When rangers contacted the individual there was an exchange of gunfire between the subject and law enforcement rangers.”

A Yellowstone law enforcement park ranger was injured in the shootout. The ranger is in stable condition and was treated at a nearby regional hospital, according to officials.

NPS has not released the identity of the ranger who was wounded during the incident.

The alleged threats made by Mr. Fussner were not specified by law enforcement.

NTD reached out to NPS for additional information regarding the shooting but did not receive a response.

Details on what led up to the shooting remain unclear. A hotel occupant told local media that he heard gunshots coming from the Canyon Lodge Eatery around 8 a.m. He was told that there was an active shooter and to stay in his room but later received an all-clear alert on his cell phone.

Canyon Lodge is a “sprawling facility” that includes 500 rooms and cabins located on the east side of the park near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, according to its official site.

Summer is Yellowstone’s busiest season and a popular stop among Americans for the Fourth of July holiday. Visitation statistics show that there were more than 11,000 parkwide vehicle entries on July 4, 2021, an 8 percent increase over the same weekend in 2019.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident with the support of NPS special agents.

An area around the Canyon Lodge complex remains closed as officials conduct an investigation.