Drunk Campbell County Man Threatens, Points Loaded Gun At Deputy

A drunk 65-year-old man who pointed a loaded gun and threatened to shoot a Campbell County deputy Thursday is lucky he wasnt shot himself.

Greg Johnson

December 31, 20222 min read

Campbell county sheriff suv
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A drunk 65-year-old man who threatened to shoot a Campbell County deputy Thursday is lucky he wasn’t shot himself.

Roger McLean was intoxicated when the deputy responded to his home about 40 minutes north of Gillette to a report he’d been fighting with his 31-year-old nephew, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Paul Pownall told Cowboy State Daily.

While McLean eventually gave himself up and was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, the tense situation could have had a much more tragic resolution, Pownall said.

“I would agree with that,” he said about the potential to be shot when threatening a deputy with a gun. “He pointed the weapon at the deputy … and alcohol was definitely a factor.”

The Response

By the time the deputy got to McLean’s home on Olmstead Road in northern Campbell County, the nephew had left, Pownall said.

When McLean answered the door, he pointed a .38-caliber snub-nose revolver at the deputy and threatened to shoot him, Pownall said.

The deputy backed away while at the same time drawing his weapon, “and as he was getting that distance between them, he was able to get to a position of cover and was able to give commands to the suspect,” Pownall said.

“As soon as the deputy got distance from the suspect, he was giving commands to drop the weapon, which he complied with,” he added.

After placing McLean into custody, the deputy confirmed that the gun was loaded.

Deputy Handled It Well

That the incident ended without anyone firing a weapon or a prolonged standoff was a good outcome, Pownall said.

By backing away while drawing his weapon and getting into a position of cover, the deputy was able to establish authority, he said.

“I thought he did a good job in the tense and uncertain circumstances he was presented with,” Pownall said. “He made a reasonable tactical decision to draw his weapon and was able to get to cover, which gave him the edge if there were to be a shootout.

“Fortunately, nobody ended up getting shot – our deputy and the suspect.” 

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Greg Johnson

Managing Editor

Veteran Wyoming journalist Greg Johnson is managing editor for Cowboy State Daily.