By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Sheridan man shot himself Friday night following a traffic stop in a Sheridan neighborhood, the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Department announced.
The Sheridan County Coroner’s office told Cowboy State Daily on Monday the man was identified as Shawn Lawrence, 48.
Sheridan County Undersheriff Lt. Levi Dominguez, told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that Lawrence repeatedly drove by a Sheridan home on Friday, a violation of a protective order held by the the resident of the home.
The police were called about Lawrence’s actions and sheriff’s deputies in the area of the neighborhood ultimately observed Lawrence driving his white pickup truck past the home. Deputies then initiated a traffic stop.
“After the vehicle stopped for law enforcement, our deputies attempted to contact the individual to have him come out of the vehicle,” Dominguez said. “He did not, so as they were approaching the vehicle, they noticed the male was unresponsive and appeared to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Deputies pulled Lawrence out of the vehicle and attempted life-saving measures, but he was declared dead the scene.
Dominguez said this is a rare but unfortunate situation for the sheriff’s department to be involved in.
“Since I’ve been undersheriff here in Sheridan County, I can’t recall an incident like this taking place before,” he said.
Dominguez added that the sheriff’s department was quick to release information about the suicide because the deputies wanted to make it clear that this was not an officer-involved shooting.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation is currently investigating the incident.
Grace for 2 Brothers executive director Jeremy Bay told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that suicide is powerful and affects a lot of people. Grace is a nonprofit organization working to prevent suicides.
“There are a lot of resources out there, including our website, which has a list of many that are available, county by county,” Bay said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255. If you are in crisis, text “WYO” to 741-741.