Kemmerer deputy released from hospital after gunshot wound
by Sheriff M. Shane Johnson, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office media release
January 4, 2010
Kemmerer, Wyoming - January 4, 2010 - The Lincoln County deputy who was shot while trying to make an arrest in Opal, east of Kemmerer, on New Year’s Eve has been released from the hospital and his condition is improving.
Lincoln County Sheriff Shane Johnson said today [January 4, 2010] that Deputy Sheriff Cory Stoof was released from the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday afternoon after undergoing major surgery.
Stoof was shot on the afternoon of December 31st while attempting to apprehend 27-year-old Jacob B. Thoman of Opal on a standing traffic and failure to appear warrant. During the arrest, Thoman produced a large-caliber handgun and shot him, striking him in the right arm.
Johnson said Deputy Stoof was on patrol in Opal at about 1:00 PM when he observed Thoman in the horse corral at his, Thoman’s, residence. Knowing about the active warrant for Thoman, Stoof spoke with him and told him he had a warrant for his arrest. Thoman asked for time to tie up his horses, but after a while Stoof concluded Thoman was stalling and ordered him to leave the horses, as he was under arrest.
Thoman, Johnson said, stated "something to the effect that ‘he was not going back to jail.’" then ran, with Stoof in foot pursuit. Stoof deployed his Taser electroschock weapon in an effort to take Thoman into custody, and Thoman, as described in charging documents, "raised what was described as a revolver and fired a single pistol bullet at Deputy Stoof. The shot hit Deputy Stoof in the upper right arm. The bullet entered Deputy Stoof’s arm, broke bones, damaged nerves which ultimately disabled Deputy Stoof’s right arm, which was his dominate [sic] shooting hand and arm."
Stoof attempted to draw his handgun, but was unable to do so because of the damage to his arm. He fell, and Thoman then barricaded himself into his mobile home with his girlfriend, Katherine Fitzsimmons, 22. Lincoln County deputies and officers from a number of nearby law enforcement agencies surrounded the residence and a 10-hour standoff ensued.
During the standoff, state Division of Criminal Investigation special agents interviewed a friend of Thoman’s, identified in court records as Justin Rogers, who told agents that "Thoman carries a .357 revolver on a regular basis and has a gun safe with numerous firearms in his residence." Rogers also said that Thoman "is fearful of police and that [sic] has talked about ‘shooting it out with the police or killing himself.’"
When efforts by law enforcement negotiators to establish contact with Thoman were unsuccessful, a dynamic entry was made by the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Team and state Division of Criminal Investigation special agents. He was taken into custody without injury; nor were there injuries to Fitzsimmons or any of the arrest team.
Recovered at the scene was Thoman’s handgun, a .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver.
As described in charging documents, Thoman later admitted to law enforcement interviewers to "firing a Smith and Wesson .38 Special in the direction of Deputy Stoof."
According to Johnson, Thoman appeared in Circuit Court in Kemmerer today [January 4, 2010] before Judge Frank Zebre, where he was formally charged with two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder and one count of felony Interference With a Peace Officer. Fitzsimmons also made an appearance in Circuit Court today, where she pled guilty to misdemeanor Interference With a Peace Officer. She sentenced to four days in jail, with credit for time already served. Thoman’s bond was set at $250,000, cash only. A preliminary hearing has been set for January 14, 2010.
Once again, Sheriff Johnson expressed his special thanks to the Kemmerer, Diamondville, LaBarge, Green River, Rock Springs and Jackson Police Departments, the Sweetwater and Teton County Sheriff’s Offices, the Wyoming Highway Patrol, and the state Division of Criminal Investigation. All, he said, rendered aid to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office during the incident in the form of manpower and specialized units and equipment, including remote-control robots used during the entry and arrest.