Park Ranger Shootout Prevents Potential Mass Shooting at Yellowstone National Park Dining Hall

Milton, Florida – A man identified as Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, 28, of Milton, Florida, was shot and killed by law enforcement rangers at Yellowstone National Park after firing a semiautomatic rifle at a dining hall on the Fourth of July. The incident, which involved more than 20 rangers, resulted in the death of Fussner and the injury of one law enforcement officer.

The National Park Service shared details of the shootout, revealing that Fussner had plans to carry out a mass shooting at events outside the park. Fussner, an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, was located near Canyon Lodge where he was walking to the service entrance while firing the rifle. Fortunately, no other physical injuries were reported.

Park superintendent Cam Sholly commended the response of the rangers, stating, “Many lives were saved here last Thursday.” The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident, with the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Wyoming set to review the findings later.

Law enforcement rangers located Fussner’s unoccupied vehicle in the Canyon area and believed him to be armed and dangerous. The park’s special response team was deployed to monitor areas with park visitors and employees while searching for Fussner. The park’s 911 dispatch center also alerted surrounding areas about the potential threat.

According to Yellowstone representative Linda Veress, Fussner was eventually encountered by rangers near Canyon Lodge, where the gunfight took place. Fussner was fatally shot by law enforcement rangers during the encounter, with one law enforcement ranger sustaining a gunshot wound in the lower extremity. The injured ranger has since been released from the hospital.

Incidents of this nature are rare in national parks, with Yellowstone aiming to provide maximum support to those involved and their families. The firearm laws in national parks adhere to the regulations of the states in which the parks are located. Federally, the possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons is prohibited in NPS facilities, including government offices and visitor centers.