Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify that the Natrona County coroner, not the Casper Police Department, confirmed that Lopez had been shot in the head.
CASPER — Nearly a week after telling locals to stay away from a southwest side neighborhood because of a “shooting incident,” the Casper Police Department confirmed Wednesday the incident involved someone being killed and that it’s investigating it as a homicide.
When the shooting happened Feb. 1, police declined to release any other information about the shooting, including whether anyone was hurt, arrested or how many shots were fired.
Six days later, the CPD confirms that someone — now identified as Brandon Arguello Lopez, 30 — was shot and died hours later. More information wasn’t immediately released because of the nature of their investigation, police say.
“The circumstances of the scene prompted an in-depth investigation,” reported CPD spokeswoman Amber Freestone in the Wednesday press release. “Casper department officers continued to process the scene over the following several days.”
Natrona County Coroner Jim Whipps told Cowboy State Daily that Lopez had been shot in the head.
What We Know Now
Police responded to a report of an unconscious man in the 1500 block of West 15th Street shortly after 8 p.m. Feb. 1, the CPD reports.
When they arrived, they found Lopez lying on the ground with “an injury consistent with a bullet wound” to the head, according to the press release.
Casper Fire-EMS and Banner Health Wyoming Medical Center paramedics who responded to the scene started life-saving measures. Lopez was transported to a local hospital, where he would later die.
Investigations by the department and Natrona County Coroner’s Office determined Lopez’s death was a homicide.
It took a while to make that determination because an autopsy was needed, Whipps said. His office was not at the scene and is relying on law enforcement processing of the scene to determine whether a crime was committed.
“The biggest thing was the autopsy that was conducted that proved that it wasn’t a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” he said.
Whipps said Lopez was shot in the head and died at 3:40 a.m. Feb. 2.
“Currently, the incident is isolated and we do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the public,” Casper police report. “We will continue to provide updates as the investigation develops.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact its tip line, 307-920-2862, or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers of Central Wyoming at 307-577-8477 or visiting online.
Dale Killingbeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.