Transparency and open dialogue called for at ‘Community Healing and Cedaring’ Monday evening
Photo – A memorial outside of the Riverton Walmart where the shooting took place.
Almost three weeks have passed since the fatal police-involved shooting at the Riverton Walmart. Local authorities have not released any names involved in the incident nor confirmed any details about what transpired on September 21st, 2019.
Multiple community events since the shooting have confirmed Riverton resident Anderson “Andy” Antelope Sr. as the person shot and killed by a police officer that day. Andy is alleged to have attacked the officer with a knife, according to a statement from Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun.
On Monday, October 7th, 2019, the Northern Arapaho Business Council (NABC) held a ‘Community Healing and Cedaring’. Andy’s nephew Dean Wallowing Bull shared, NABC members Stephen Fasthorse, Kim Whiteman-Harjo and Chairman Lee Spoonhunter held a question and answer as part of the community healing.
Dean said, “We understand that no info will be released until the [Coroner’s] inquest.” Reaching out to the City of Riverton and the Riverton Mayor to start an open dialogue was discussed as next steps during Monday’s event. “The family is still hurt and in mourning, we don’t think deadly force was the answer, Riverton is a small town.”
Content continues below[adrotate group="12"]
The statement from the Fremont County Coroner’s Office following the shooting shared an inquest should not be anticipated for more than a month at the earliest. On Tuesday, October 8th, 2019, during a monthly update from Coroner Mark Stratmoen it was noted the inquest is still 6 to 8 weeks away. Dean said, “That is a long time to wait, however, the family and tribe will look forward to the announcement of the date, time and location of the inquest.”
The evening following Andy’s funeral on September 26th, 2019, a memorial vigil was held at Riverton City Hall. Andy’s friends and family gathered together calling for answers and transparency about the shooting. Signs saying things like “Rest in Peace” and “Justice 4 Andy” were held by several vigil attendees.
Dean explained, “Everything we have done has been peaceful with the hope of full transparency in the cities part. We pray that this does not ever happen again, that policy and procedures, as well as training for officers, is implemented, that deadly force be the very last option.”
The investigation is ongoing with the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation.