Rural Wyoming Couple Says Trigger-Happy Neighbor Terrorizing Everyone

An Evansville, Wyoming, man who likes to shoot his guns is allegedly terrorizing his neighbors, who told Natrona County commissioners this week that includes bullets ricocheting across their properties and hitting the siding of homes.

DK
Dale Killingbeck

June 06, 20244 min read

A photo of a real estate sign in the neighborhood northeast of Evansville that was allegedly turned into a target. Neighbors said bullets sometimes ricochet off the sign into adjacent areas.
A photo of a real estate sign in the neighborhood northeast of Evansville that was allegedly turned into a target. Neighbors said bullets sometimes ricochet off the sign into adjacent areas. (Photo Courtesy Leanne Cadwell)

An Evansville, Wyoming-area couple is pleading for help from the Natrona County Board of Commissioners regarding a trigger-happy neighbor whose bullets have reportedly ricocheted around the neighborhood, hit the sides of at least one home and damaged a real estate sign.

“The person that is doing the shooting has left bullet holes in multiple neighbors’ housing. I have evidence, pictures right here if you want me to hand those out,” Leanne Cadwell told the four commissioners at a Tuesday meeting. “We had a phone call from a sheriff this afternoon who is investigating it who is saying there is absolutely nothing he can do.”

Cadwell, with her husband Calvin, told the board that the rural neighborhood northeast of Casper is in fear of someone being hit by a stray bullet.

“I have conversations on my phone from other neighbors who have said that they have stopped and confronted him about it being unsafe, and he’s told them to ‘go to hell’ or get off the property,” Leanne Cadwell said. “And it’s to the point that something needs to be done before somebody gets killed.”

Photos presented to the county commissioners and Cowboy State Daily show a real estate sign with multiple bullet holes and ricochet marks, a spent bullet, and multiple photos of bullet holes in home siding.

Letter To Commission

A letter presented by the Cadwells to commissioners from neighborhood residents Lisa and Buddy Alexander echoed the Cadwells’ fears. Leanne Cadwell said the Alexanders could not attend meeting.

The couple wrote that “for several months now, since ‘this person’ put up targets, we have had to deal with several different caliber rifles being shot and ricocheting bullets,” the letter says. “I refuse to let my granddaughter play outside when she is here as I do not feel she is safe when he is shooting.”

Calvin Cadwell told commissioners that a Natrona County Sheriff’s Office investigator does have a case open about the situation, but the Cadwells were told there is no enforcement mechanism.

“They can offer suggestions on how he can do this safely, but they can’t tell him he can’t do it, they can’t tell him or enforce him to actually make changes,” Calvin Cadwell said. “The rest of us just live in fear, I guess. Unfortunately, we need laws to protect us.”

A photo presented by an Evansville couple to Natrona County commissioners on Tuesday showed three bullet holes in apparent home siding. They said it happened as a result of a neighbor’s carelessness with weapons.
A photo presented by an Evansville couple to Natrona County commissioners on Tuesday showed three bullet holes in apparent home siding. They said it happened as a result of a neighbor’s carelessness with weapons. (Photo Courtesy Leanne Cadwell)

Sheriff’s Office Response

Natrona County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kiera Grogan said Wednesday that the department has investigated all reports made directly to the department in the neighborhood where the Cadwells live.

“Since December 2023, two reports have come into dispatch of shots fired in that immediate area,” she said. “We’ve reviewed all the evidence submitted by reporting parties and have not found a violation of state statute.”

Grogan said deputies have provided neighboring residents with suggestions for additional measures to ensure safety while shooting on their property.

“The residents were receptive to concerns from neighbors and said they were willing to make modifications to ensure everyone’s safety,” she said.

Commissioner Dallas Laird, an attorney, told the couple Tuesday that while Wyoming law allows someone outside a city’s limits to shoot weapons, even after dark, there are limits regarding a neighbor’s property and bullets hitting the siding of their homes.

“I don’t think that it is legal to shoot somebody’s property,” he said. “Proving it is the next thing.”

Laird characterized the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office as a “really good sheriff’s department” and promised to “personally ask the sheriff myself about this.”

A spent bullet allegedly the result of a ricochet in a neighborhood northeast of Evansville.
A spent bullet allegedly the result of a ricochet in a neighborhood northeast of Evansville. (Photo Courtesy Leanne Cadwell)

Getting Evidence

Commissioner Steven Freel, a former police officer, said he had spoken with the Realtor whose sign had been used as a target.

“So, I talked to the owner of the real estate company and he explained to me what was going on out there. (He) didn’t know that his sign had been damaged,” he said. “Is there anybody out there that witnessed this taking place or the damage to the sign itself? Because that is really what it boils down to is being able to have somebody say, ‘I saw subject A shoot from this location and hit this item.’”

Calvin Cadwell responded that when the bullets are flying, it is hard to do that.

“I guess that’s the problem right? When he is shooting, we are hiding,” he said.

The couple told the commission that they are advocates for the right to own weapons but are asking for some kind of intervention somehow.

“We are all for gun rights and everything like that, but the problem is when what you are doing on your property affects those around you,” Leanne Cadwell said.

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at dale@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Dale Killingbeck

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Killingbeck is glad to be back in journalism after working for 18 years in corporate communications with a health system in northern Michigan. He spent the previous 16 years working for newspapers in western Michigan in various roles.