RIVERTON — Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun says he will make a statement “in the next week or so” regarding the fatal, officer-involved shooting that took place last month in Riverton.
No officers were injured, but a male subject was killed in the incident, which took place at about 11 a.m. Jan. 10 in the 500 block of South First Street at East Monroe Avenue.
LeBrun is responsible for determining whether the use of force by law enforcement was appropriate.
“I’m the one that judges that fact, (and) I apply Wyoming law in making my conclusion,” he said Thursday.
“I will make a statement in the next few weeks.”
Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen plans to hold a public inquest in order to determine the cause and manner of the death that resulted from the shooting.
On Tuesday he predicted his inquest would be held in March “at the earliest.”
Stratmoen said it is his agency’s policy to convene public inquests when any fatalities are caused, or suspected to be caused, by law enforcement in his jurisdiction. In the case of last month’s shooting in Riverton, Stratmoen said an inquest would serve as a “public airing of the investigation” into the incident, which has attracted a unique public interest due to the alleged involvement of law enforcement.
“In those cases I will always do a public inquest, just to avoid any feeling in the public that something was covered up (or) that all the information didn’t get out,” he said.
“The main thing is public transparency — that is the principle. … It is beneficial, in the public interest, to have a public examination (of) what the circumstances of the event were that led to a death that may or may not be at the hands of law enforcement.”
Stratmoen said he will select three people who will sit on the inquest jury; the jury will determine the manner and cause of death in the case after examining the information collected in the course of the law enforcement investigation.
The proceeding will be open to the public and will involve witnesses who may be questioned by Stratmoen and the jurors.
By Katie Roenigk
Riverton Ranger Via Wyoming News Exchange