Kemmerer deputy shot by Opal man
by Sheriff M Shane Johnson, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office media release
January 2, 2010
January 2, 2010 - Lincoln County Sheriff Shane Johnson issued an update today [January 2, 2010] on the county officer who was shot in Opal on New Year’s Eve.
While on patrol at about 1:00 PM on Thursday in Opal, 15 miles east of the county seat of Kemmerer, Deputy Sheriff Cory Stoof spotted Jacob B. Thoman, 27, an Opal resident wanted on a standing traffic and failure to appear arrest warrant.
Stoof made contact with Thoman, who fled on foot. When Stoof pursued him, Thoman produced a large-caliber handgun and fired, striking the deputy in the right arm. Disabled, Stoof was unable to return fire.
Thoman then barricaded himself inside his residence 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. When negotiators were unable to establish contact with Thoman, entry was made by the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Team and state Division of Criminal Investigation special agents. Thoman, though in possession of his handgun when the special team made its entry, was taken into custody without injury; nor were there injuries to Fitzsimmons or any of the arrest team.
Stoof was transported first to South Lincoln Medical Center in Kemmerer, then flown to the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Johnson said Stoof underwent successful major surgery on Friday, and his condition is good. His injuries are not considered life threatening.
Johnson visited Stoof at the hospital in Salt Lake City today (January 2, 2010) and spoke with family members.
Formal charges against Thoman and Fitzsimmons are pending, and an initial appearance in Circuit Court in Kemmerer is anticipated on Monday.
The state Division of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation of the shooting.
Johnson again 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.
"Thanks to their professionalism and willingness to respond," he said, "it was possible to bring the standoff to a safe resolution. It was one of those situations where the commitment, training, and skill of Wyoming law enforcement really paid off."