Man fatally shot by Yellowstone rangers on July Fourth allegedly threatened mass shooting,

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The man who was fatally shot after exchanging gunfire with rangers at Yellowstone National Park’s Canyon Village on the Fourth of July had allegedly threatened to carry out a mass shooting during holiday celebrations, authorities say.

The man was identified Tuesday as Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner, 28, of Milton, Florida, the National Park Service said. He was an employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a private business that operates in Yellowstone. 

Alarm over Fussner first emerged around midnight on July 4 when Yellowstone’s 911 dispatch received a call that a woman was held against her will by a man with a gun in a residence at Canyon Village, NPS said in a release.

She reported that Fussner threatened to kill her and others, and he allegedly had plans to “carry out a mass shooting(s) at July 4th events outside the park,” officials said.

Rangers responded and found his car unoccupied in the Canyon area, and a search began for him with rangers deployed to protect areas with park visitors and employees.

The preliminary investigation indicated Fussner was “likely armed and dangerous,” the release said. 

At 8 a.m. that same day, law enforcement rangers posted near Canyon Lodge, which houses employee and public dinings rooms, found Fussner. 

“Fussner reportedly walked toward the service entrance of the facility while firing a semi-automatic rifle,” the release said, noting 200 people were in the building at the time.

Several rangers then “engaged” Fussner and exchanged gunfire.

Fussner was shot by rangers and one law enforcement ranger was also shot in a lower extremity. 

Medical aid was rendered to both, but Fussner died at the scene.

The injured ranger was transported to an area hospital in stable condition and has since been released. No other physical injuries were reported. 

In line with NPS policy for law enforcement involved shootings, the rangers involved were placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into the incident. 

The investigation is being led by the FBI and will be reviewed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming. 

“Thanks to the heroic actions of our law enforcement rangers, many lives were saved here last Thursday,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “These rangers immediately confronted this shooter and took decisive action to ensure he was no longer a threat to public safety. We are working now to provide maximum support to those involved and their families.”

The area around the Canyon Lodge complex was closed following the incident. After the shooting park officials said there were no active threats to the public. 

Todd Heskett previously told NBC News he was staying at the Canyon Village hotel with his wife and two of their children, ages 14 and 22, when he heard gunshots coming from the Canyon Lodge eatery around 8 a.m. He called 911 and the front desk, and was told there was an active shooter situation, and he and his family should stay in their rooms. About an hour later, Heskett said, he received an emergency alert on his phone informing him that the situation had been handled and it was safe to leave.

Read More: Man fatally shot by Yellowstone rangers on July Fourth allegedly threatened mass shooting,

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