The victim of Saturday's police shooting in Riverton attacked an officer with a knife before he was shot and killed, according to the Fremont County Attorney's Office. County Prosecutor Pat Lebrun wrote in a statement released just before 2:00 p.m. on Monday that an officer was trying to arrest the victim.
"At that time, the decedent [the deceased] drew an approximately 6-inch knife and stabbed the officer in the center of his chest. However, the officer's body armor stopped the knife from penetrating. The decedent continued the assault, with knife in hand, and was shot. He died at the scene," Lebrun wrote.
The shooting took place outside of a Walmart in Riverton some time before 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Walmart remained open despite police cordoning off an area between the store's two entrances. The victim's body remained on the sidewalk covered with a sheet for several hours.
Law enforcement has not yet released the victim's name, but family members are identifying him as Anderson "Andy" Antelope of Ethete, who was a citizen of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Antelope's nephew Dean Wallowing Bull says that his uncle was in his 50's and physically disabled.
"There's gonna be a 'Justice for Andy' walk, because I believe that it was an unjustified shooting," Wallowing Bull said. "I'm going to turn a little bit of my anger into action. Why? Because I care about him, he means something to me. That's why I'm going to [plan the walk,] because I love him."
Wallowing Bull said that the walk will take place in Riverton, and will either start or end at the Walmart. In the two days since the shooting, friends, and family of Antelope have placed flowers and candles on the sidewalk where he died.
Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen wrote in an earlier press release that his office and others investigating Saturday's shooting will convene a "public inquest" and present evidence to an inquest jury.
"The public should be aware, however, that such incidents are complicated and investigated by multiple agencies," Stratmoen wrote.
He estimated that his office's forensic autopsy of the victim could take 4 to 5 weeks to complete and that arrangements for the inquest "should not be anticipated for more than a month at the earliest."
The Riverton Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff's Office, and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation have not responded to voicemails and emails requesting more information about the shooting.
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