Casper Man Shot While Allegedly Trying To Get Officer’s Gun Identified

The Natrona County Coroner’s Office has identified the man shot and killed by police Thursday while allegedly trying to get an officer’s gun as Trae Spurlock, 26. But the office denies releasing other details of the shooting.

Greg Johnson & Dale Killingbeck

June 11, 20243 min read

Trae Spurlock
Trae Spurlock (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

CASPER — The person shot and killed during an altercation with Casper police Thursday has been identified as a 26-year-old local man who allegedly tried to get control of an officer’s firearm during an altercation with police.

Trae Stewart Spurlock died after being shot by an unidentified Casper Police Department officer a little after 9:30 p.m. when CPD had responded to an apartment complex in the 5000 block of Pay It Forward Drive on a report of a domestic disturbance, CPD reports.

While trying to take Spurlock into custody, he allegedly tried to “gain control of a firearm” from an officer and was shot, the agency reports.

The Natrona County Coroner’s Office has identified Spurlock as the man shot and killed that night, but says it has released no other information.

The office also refutes a Casper Star-Tribune story attributing information about how many times Spurlock was allegedly shot, the type of ammunition used and other details about where on Spurlock’s body he was shot.

Not From Us

Natrona County Coroner’s Office Lead Detective Taylor Jessee also told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday in an email that the details the Star-Tribune attribute to “a preliminary coroner’s office report” didn’t come from that office.

Jessee also did not confirm or deny the information reported.

“The Casper Star Tribune absolutely did not get that information from us,” Jessee said in a response to a Cowboy State Daily public information request. “There has been one press release released from our office that can be found on our website. No further information will be shared at this time.”

That press release, dated Friday, names Spurlock as the deceased person in the incident, but no other information about his death.

Because the Natrona County Coroner’s Office denies releasing or disseminating a “preliminary coroner’s office report” with more detail about how Spurlock died, Cowboy State Daily is not reporting those details because they can’t be officially confirmed.

“That I will not confirm, no,” Coroner James Whipps said. “That information will come from the DCI (Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation) when they are ready to put it out.”

As per CPD policy with officer-involved shootings, the agency has asked DCI to take over the investigation.

At Casper’s DCI office, Team Leader Brad Reinhart declined to release any additional information Tuesday.

“I’m not going to confirm anything,” he said. “It is an active investigation, and I am not going to confirm anything.”

Greg Johnson can be reached at and Dale Killingbeck can be reached at

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Greg Johnson

Managing Editor

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


Dale Killingbeck


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.