Thermopolis Releases Edited Body Cam Video Of Deadly Shootout With Officer

The town of Thermopolis on Wednesday released an edited and narrated video from the body cam of Sgt. Mike Mascorro, who illegally and without a warrant broke into a man’s home last April, sparking a shootout that left the man dead.

Clair McFarland

February 21, 202411 min read

In this image from Thermopolis Police Sgt. Mike Mascorro's body cam on April 28, 2023, shows Mascorro being confronted by and armed Buck Laramore after breaking into Laramore's home intending to arrest him.
In this image from Thermopolis Police Sgt. Mike Mascorro's body cam on April 28, 2023, shows Mascorro being confronted by and armed Buck Laramore after breaking into Laramore's home intending to arrest him. (Thermopolis Police Department)

The town of Thermopolis released body camera video Wednesday of the fatal shootout between a local police sergeant and a resident last April when the officer broke into the resident’s home to confront him.  

The video has been edited, condensed and narrated to explain the officer’s and suspect’s actions.

Because of conflicting portions of Wyoming self-defense law, Thermopolis Police Sgt. Mike Mascorro was not charged for shooting 33-year-old Buck Laramore to death in Laramore’s home.

Mascorro entered Laramore’s home illegally and without a warrant, according to a special prosecutor’s summary of the incident.

Laramore then shot and wounded Mascorro, who shot back, killing Laramore at the scene.

Mascorro was hospitalized for days. He returned to Thermopolis to a hero’s welcome May 3, 2023, five days after the shootout.

What It Shows

Following a Cowboy State Daily request for Mascorro's body camera video from the entire day of April 28, 2023, Thermopolis town leaders dispatched a stitched-together, captioned and narrated 10-minute version of the original footage.

The video shows Mascorro investigating a report of methamphetamine distribution at the local McDonald’s on the morning of April 28, 2023.

Mascorro brought along Hot Springs County Deputy Shayna Cox and her K-9 drug-detection dog.

Laramore, a McDonald’s employee, made a “beeline” to the men’s bathroom, according to an interview one witness later gave to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.  

Mascorro is concerned about that in the video.

“So, this dude, that’s right there behind the — this big guy,” begins Mascorro, gesturing toward Laramore while speaking to Cox. “He took off over here. He came around. He was going to the bathroom.”

Cox tells Mascorro to check out the “little plastic cups” in the baby changing station of the men’s restroom.

Mascorro found methamphetamine in the changing station, the video narrator says.

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From McDonald’s To Laramore’s Trailer

The video cuts to Mascorro interviewing Laramore, whose face is blurred. It shows Laramore giving the wrong spelling of his surname and giving his birth year as 1988 when it was actually 1989.

The narrator says Mascorro had “reasonable suspicion” Laramore had methamphetamine, and Mascorro “compelled Mr. Laramore’s identification.”

Mascorro asks for Laramore’s address, in the video.

“I’d rather – prefer not to give that to you,” answers Laramore.

The narrator announces that Laramore left work early “without telling anyone.” The narrator also says Mascorro contacted the Hot Springs County Attorney’s Office, and the attorney “agreed Sergeant Mascorro had probable cause to either cite or arrest Mr. Laramore.”  

The video cuts to Mascorro leaving the scene, and soon cuts again to Laramore’s trailer house home.

It shows Mascorro arguing with Laramore, who was behind his front door. And it shows Mascorro forcibly shouldering open the door, getting shot by a pistol-brandishing Laramore once inside, and firing back, killing Laramore.

What It Does Not Show

The video’s 10 minutes of footage are pulled from a longer case interval of nearly four hours.  

The video does not show Mascorro's other discussions at the McDonald's or the rest of his interview with Laramore. It does not show the conversation Mascorro had later with Hot Springs County Attorney deputy Kelly Owens, in which he questioned (and Owens confirmed) that Mascorro was within his legal authority to ask Laramore for his information.

But when Mascorro said he was going to arrest Laramore for police interference because Laramore had lied about his name and age, Owens said Laramore could simply not answer the door, and that Mascorro “should just issue a citation,” according to the Sept. 21, 2023, decision letter by special prosecutor Daniel Erramouspe.

Mascorro had told other people of his plan to arrest Laramore, during the intervening hours, Erramouspe wrote.

Reportedly, more than three hours passed between the McDonald’s incident and Mascorro’s arrival at Laramore’s home. Because so much time had passed and Mascorro didn’t have exigent circumstances compelling him to enter Laramore’s home, Mascorro’s break-in was illegal, Erramouspe concluded.

Mascorro in his own interview with DCI Special Agent Kiel Holder claimed that when Laramore shut the door in his face, “this gave him fresh pursuit because Laramore was now fleeing,” says a summary of the May 23, 2023 ,DCI interview.

Erramouspe disagreed with that claim and determined Mascorro didn’t have the “fresh pursuit” justification to break in.

“Mascorro could have issued citations or left the matter to be charged in long form,” wrote Erramouspe. “However, he felt that breaking into a person’s domicile was the best course of action for the misdemeanor of interference with a peace officer.”

It was a “blessing in this calamity” that Laramore’s wife Brandi was not shot in the crossfire, he added.

Responding to a Cowboy State Daily request for comment on the video release, Mascorro's attorney John Worrall said he had no comment, "other than to point out that good journalism and objectivity have become separated in the last number of years."

This image from released body cam video shows Buck Laramore being questioned by Sgt. Mike Mascorro on April 28, 2023.
This image from released body cam video shows Buck Laramore being questioned by Sgt. Mike Mascorro on April 28, 2023. (Thermopolis Police Department)

Why Break In?

Mascorro also told Holder that he broke into the home because he feared Laramore would flee, says the DCI report. The video narrator echoes this concern in the public version of the body footage.

Erramouspe called that claim far-fetched, noting that Laramore had a home and a job in Thermopolis, and that police interference is only a misdemeanor charge.

A Minor Inconsistency

Mascorro was acting alone during the break-in. The narrator says Mascorro was “not able to secure an additional backup officer.”

The narrator’s account differs slightly from the account Mascorro gave to Holder, in which Mascorro said he acted alone so he wouldn’t inconvenience another busy agent in a short-staffed region of law enforcement.

Mascorro told Holder he knew Cox was working at that time, but he’d already asked for her help earlier and had already taken up a lot of her time.

“He did not want to ask her or inconvenience her again,” says the interview summary.  

Best Practices

Best practices in officer-involved shooting investigations call for the officer being investigated to not review any body cam footage of the incident.

In his interview, Mascorro said he’d watched his own footage several times before being interviewed.

Erramouspe made a footnote of this in his decision letter.

“The assumption is that this (review) was done upon returning from his hospital stay in treatment for injuries sustained,” wrote the prosecutor. “Since the video of the incident was not provided to Mascorro by DCI, then it is assumed that he, Mascorro, had his own access to such, or his department provided it.”

Bloody Scene

The public version of Mascorro’s body camera footage shows Mascorro shouldering open the door after a brief argument with Laramore, in which Laramore refuses to open the door then hurriedly gives his correct date of birth before retreating from the door.

Mascorro enters past the now-broken door. The audio conveys the gunshot from the .45-caliber bullet with which Laramore shot him.

The DCI report says the lone bullet entered Mascorro’s right bicep, passed into his chest, glanced off a rib to dodge his heart, wounded his lung and exited through his back just to the left of his spine. It came to rest lodged between his flesh and his clothing, says the report.

It felt like a sledgehammer blow, Mascorro told DCI.

The narrator says Laramore approached, “firing once more in an attempt to execute Sergeant Mascorro.”

Mascorro returns fire with seven shots from the floor, forcing Laramore to retreat into the bedroom.

Laramore’s wife Brandi is screaming throughout the incident.

Mascorro pulls himself up from the ground and retreats into the kitchen.

Larmore reemerges from the bedroom.

Mascorro shoots, hitting Laramore. He then shoots another two times.

Brandi Laramore wails miserably.

“Show me your hands!” yells Mascorro. Laramore does not rise. He lies either dead or dying on the floor.

“Move,” says Mascorro, grunting and fumbling for the back door.

He collapses onto the threshold, groans and fights for breath.

“Shots fired. I need help. I’m down. I’ve been shot, help,” calls Mascorro into his radio.

He crawls or walks outside and collapses to the rocky ground in the trailer park, both hands bloody.

Approaching sirens crescendo nearby.

“Mike are you OK?” asks Cox, now on scene.

Medical personnel flew Mascorro to Casper, where he remained in intensive care treatment for several days, says the narrator.

Police acting on a later search warrant discovered meth, fentanyl, paraphernalia, digital scales and evidence of distribution, says the video narrator. The DCI report says this as well, Cowboy State Daily reported prior.

In this image from body cam video, Sgt. Mike Mascorro retreats after being shot by Buck Laramore on April 28, 2023.
In this image from body cam video, Sgt. Mike Mascorro retreats after being shot by Buck Laramore on April 28, 2023. (Thermopolis Police Department)

This Is A Homicide Investigation

The narrator notes that DCI investigated the incident and Erramouspe determined Mascorro’s use of force was justified.

“As such, Sergeant Mascorro was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing,” says the narrator.

Erramouspe emphasized in his decision letter that his was only an analysis of whether Mascorro shot Laramore illegally. Other types of wrongdoing by Mascorro were not in the purview of his analysis, wrote the prosecutor.  

“This is not an analysis of whether Mascorro violated Laramore’s Constitutional rights or is civilly liable for his death, only of whether he acted in a criminal manner,” the letter says.

One More Video

Thermopolis released another video Wednesday pursuant to Cowboy State Daily’s request, for a Jan. 12, 2021, incident in which Mascorro arrested a Thermopolis woman on probation whom he believed to be intoxicated, and who refused to give Mascorro a portable breath analysis.

The woman, Rebecca Nelson, was later convicted for being a pedestrian under the influence of alcohol and for breach of peace.

In the video, she curses and yells at Mascorro and says she wandered into the roadway because the people of Thermopolis do not clear their sidewalks and the walkway was icy. She says she had two shots of alcohol.

Mascorro reaches for her hand and puts one handcuff on it.

The video blurs to pure audio, as Mascorro’s body camera abuts or draws close to the woman’s jacket in the dark.

“Stop resisting” Mascorro calls out repeatedly.

“Keep pushing me,” she yells back.

A caption displayed over the paused video says Nelson “slid herself off the front of Officer Mascorro’s patrol vehicle and fell towards the ground,” and that Mascorro “was able to catch Ms. Nelson’s full body weight before she hit the ground.”  

“Police abuse right here!” yells Nelson.

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‘Back Up Ron’

The caption says Nelson had one handcuff on her right wrist, which posed a safety hazard because the other loose cuff could be used as a weapon. Nelson slid off the car again and toward the ground, and Mascorro “placed Ms. Nelson (sic) face down on the (sic) and she was successfully taken into custody.”

Nelson’s face was cut during the audible fall, and blood pools onto the asphalt, in the video.

“You’re f***in done,” says Nelson. “Your license is done.”

Mascorro calls for an ambulance.

Nelson accuses Mascorro of ripping her wrist open, and says she’s had nine past concussions.

“You’ve got a cut on your head,” says Mascorro. “Because you’re resisting.”

“No it wasn’t because I was resisting it’s because you’re a dick,” says Nelson.

“We’re gonna get you up,” says Mascorro. “This way. This way. Put your knees up.”

A man named Ron emerges and asks what’s going on.

“Back up Ron! Get your hands out of your pockets,” says Mascorro, shining a flashlight at Ron.

“We’re watching,” says a woman.

Mascorro tried to pick Nelson off the ground several times, says the caption, adding that she refused to get up and he allowed her to stay on the ground because she wasn’t in “imminent danger.”

Nelson repeatedly asks Mascorro to get off her. She says she’d rather stay on the ground with her head bleeding than be near Mascorro.

“You’re f***ing hurting me,” she says.

Nelson admits that she started fighting Mascorro during the handcuffing. “After you wouldn’t tell me my options,” she says.

She bemoans a “$5,000 bill” from the coming ambulance. “All because I was walking on the ice.”

“You are just f***ing dying for a civil suit,” says Nelson to Mascorro.

A female agent arrives and tries to soothe Nelson.

Nelson tells the female agent that the female agent hasn’t done anything wrong, but that “Mike” needs to stay away from her.

The ambulance took Nelson to the hospital and she was released two hours later, says the caption over the video.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter