Thermopolis release bodycam footage of deadly shootout with suspect and officer

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The Thermopolis Police Department sergeant who shot a suspect to death in April was justified under criminal law, but he entered the man’s home illegally to force the fatal confrontation, according to an analysis by a special prosecutor.

Because of a contradiction in Wyoming’s self-defense laws, the sergeant may face civil consequences, but he will not be prosecuted criminally in this case.

At about midday April 28, Sgt. Mike Mascorro broke into the Thermopolis home of Buck Laramore, 33, a McDonald’s employee whom Mascorro had questioned earlier that day on suspicion of methamphetamine use.

Laramore shot Mascorro with a .45 pistol during the break-in, dropping Mascorro to the floor. Mascorro returned fire, killing Laramore.

It started about 9 a.m. on April 28, when the Hot Springs County health inspector told police someone was using methamphetamine inside the McDonald’s restaurant.

Mascorro met the health inspector at the McDonald’s, along with Hot Springs County Deputy Sheriff Shayna Cox and her drug-detection K-9.

Cox deployed the dog in the men’s restroom, and the K-9 alerted to drug presence in the baby changing station.

Agents searched the changing station and found plastic containers with suspected meth in them, says the decision.

Mascorro noted that the last person to exit the men’s room was Laramore, a McDonald’s employee.

Mascorro spoke with Laramore.

During this interaction, Laramore misspelled his own last name as “Larimore” and gave his year of birth as 1988, though he was born in 1989.

Mascorro asked Laramore multiple times to submit to a drug test and Laramore repeatedly refused. The sergeant then asked for Laramore’s home address, and Laramore refused to give that.

The two men parted ways and Laramore went back to work.

Sometime during his shift, Laramore left work without his manager’s approval. Someone witnessed him driving away.

At about that same time, Mascorro learned that Laramore had lied about his surname spelling and age.

In Wyoming, it is a crime of interference to obstruct police officers who are in the lawful performance of their duties.

Mascorro called the county attorney’s office to ask if his questioning of Laramore had been lawful.

The questioning was lawful, deputy attorney Kelly Owens confirmed.

Mascorro said he was going to arrest Laramore for obstructing that questioning, under the state’s interference crime.

Owens countered, saying Mascorro should just issue a citation, and that Laramore would probably avoid arrest by not answering his door.

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