Two RPD officers and a FCSO Sheriff’s Deputy placed restraints on Arthur Cantrell after his arrest in connection with two shots fired incidents. (Ernie Over photo)
(Riverton, Wyo.) – A 21-year-old convicted felon from Riverton who allegedly fired several shots in different locations from a stolen Cobra .380 was captured without incident in a textbook police operation Thursday afternoon. Arthur Cantrell, who has a felony conviction from the State of South Dakota, was arrested at the scene of the second shooting
Police first became aware of the shooter when, at 12:54 p.m., they received a call from a man who said he had been walking behind the area of the 400 and 500 block of South Federal when he observed two Native American males in front of him, one wearing a green shirt and the other a black shirt. When he noticed that the subject in the green shirt was carrying a pistol, he turned and ran away, but then heard a gunshot ring out. The man called police when he thought he was safe. Officers were dispatched to the area but were unable to locate the suspects. Then just some 15 minutes later, police began receiving calls of a gunshot being heard in the apartment complex at 321 East Madison, just about five blocks to the west. The shooter was identified as a man wearing a green shirt.
“At that point we knew that the two incidents were related,” Captain Eric Murphy said Friday morning
All available Riverton Police units responded to the area and officers surrounded the area of apartment complex, evacuating some residents who could’ve been in harms way if the man began shooting again. The suspect was spotted and was taken into custody without incident. Police also contacted other residents of the apartment complex and cleared several apartments before standing down.
While all this was happening, a man called police from city park to say that he had stopped at Riverton City Park and had taken a nap, but awoke to find that someone had rummaged through his backpack and taken a Cobra .380 pistol and had stolen his bicycle. Follow-up investigation turned up several witnesses at the park and evidence that the gun had been fired behind the businesses on South Federal.
As officers were interviewing witnesses on East Madison, according to a police report, Cantrell managed to shimmy through a small window in the plastic divider between the back and front seats of the patrol car where he had been taken in handcuffs and placed in the back seat. Murphy said the patrol car was a replacement for another patrol vehicle had been taken in for service earlier in the day. Apparently the sliding glass window was not locked on the replacement vehicle, enabling Cantrell to force it open.
Sgt. Scott Komrs was in front of the apartment complex when he said he heard the horn of the patrol car go off and noticed that its lights were flashing. He then saw Cantrell trying to sit up in the front seat. He and Officer Anthony Armstrong ran to the car to secure the vehicle. As Cantrell was shimmying into the front seat, he apparently caught his boxer shorts and pants on the barrel of an AR15 weapon anchored on the dash board, and his clothing ripped. His head also hit the controls for the lights and horn. As Armstrong reached the car, Cantrell was trying to get back into the back seat with his shorts and pants around his ankles. Officers removed him from the vehicle, placed him on the ground and put him in leg restraints, then placed him back in the vehicle.
Meanwhile, the suspect in the black shirt had also been located, handcuffed and was sitting on the lawn next to the apartment complex. He was identified only as a 21-year-old male from Arapahoe. Police took him to the Volunteers of America Alcohol Crisis Center as he was intoxicated. Other charges are pending.
There were no injuries reported in the shooting incidents, and no reports of any physical damage from the bullets that were fired.