By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Video footage of a man being shot and killed by a Casper police officer after the man drove off in a car with the officer inside it was released Friday, more than two months after the shooting occurred.
The Casper Police Department released body and dash camera footage of the shooting during a news conference Friday.
The officer involved in the shooting, Officer Jake Bigelow, was cleared of any wrongdoing in a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation probe, according to information provided for the news conference. The Natrona County District Attorney also declined to press charges.
The man shot was identified in May as 42-year-old Joseph Roebener.
The footage, edited so viewers could not see Roebener’s body after he was shot, was not streamed during the news conference, but was made publicly available. However, it does contain graphic images and explicit language.
According to police reports and video footage, around 4 a.m. on May 6, Casper officers stopped a vehicle and approached it to speak with its two occupants.
At one point, the driver unexpectedly exited the vehicle and the passenger moved into the driver’s seat in an attempt to flee the scene. Bigelow tried to stop the vehicle by getting into it, however, Roebener accelerated from the scene at a high speed.
“If you drive away with me, I will f–king kill you,” Bigelow told Roebener as the man attempted to put the vehicle into drive.
While inside the moving car, the officer ordered Roebener to stop the vehicle multiple times, even threatening to shoot the man if he did not stop. Eventually, Roebener drove the vehicle onto the oncoming traffic lane of Interstate 25, although this cannot be clearly seen in the video.
The officer eventually fired his times weapon four times at Roebener and safely stopped the car along the side of the interstate.
The entire incident in the vehicle lasted just over a minute, although Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters said Bigelow told him it felt like a lifetime.
An search of the vehicle later revealed an ounce of methamphetamine stashed inside.
“The rapidly-evolving events portrayed in the video abundantly show the difficulty the officer was placed into by the actions of the suspect,” McPheeters said.