A central Wyoming detox center last weekend was the site of a shooting in which a city parks employee allegedly entered through a back door and shot two men lying on mattresses, killing one. The Washington Post reported that the Center of Hope, a facility run by the group Volunteers of America, has been credited with assisting the city of Riverton in combating alcohol-related problems in the community, including public intoxication.
The suspect in the shooting, 32-year-old Roy Clyde, allegedly told authorities that he had planned to target individuals that he referred to as “park rangers,” or homeless men who used alcohol in public parks. There was no evidence that the individuals in the detox facility over the weekend had been homeless.
The two victims in the July 18 shooting are Native American, and while police say they do not believe the incident was motivated by race, there have been calls for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime. The Wind River Indian Reservation is located in the area.
According to police, Clyde entered the center through a back door and walked past two staff members before reaching an area where patients were located. Other patients and employees locked themselves in a facility bathroom when the shooting started. The vice president of operations at Volunteers of America told the Associated Press that staff members “followed policy and saved lives that afternoon.”