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Police release OIS video showing Army veteran say “death by cop doesn’t sound too bad”

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David Velazquez
Casper Star Tribune, Wyo.

The details surrounding an Army veteran killed in an officer-involved shooting on June 6 could change as the Natrona County coroner’s report is finalized.

Trae Stewart Spurlock, 26, of Casper, was shot at The Ridge at Blackmore Apartments on Thursday night in the 5000 block of Pay it Forward Drive, according to a press release and preliminary report provided by the Natrona County Coroner’s Office on Monday.

Officers responded to a call for service regarding a disturbance, according to a press release from Casper Police on Friday.

A Friday press release from Casper police alleges that Spurlock, a retired Army sergeant, “attempted to gain control of a firearm and was subsequently shot by an officer.”

The information in the coroner’s preliminary report listed nine gunshot wounds on the body, but that number does not indicate that he was shot nine times.

For example, a single bullet could enter and exit one part of the body before entering the body again resulting in multiple gunshot wounds from one bullet.

At this time, the coroner’s report is not finalized and not all analysis has been conducted.

Coroner names veteran

The name of an Army veteran killed in an officer-involved shooting on June 6 has been released.

Trae Stewart Spurlock, 26, of Casper, was shot at The Ridge at Blackmore Apartments on Thursday night in the 5000 block of Pay it Forward Drive, according to a press release and preliminary report obtained from the Natrona County Coroner’s office on Monday.

The department responded to a call for service regarding a disturbance, according to a press release from Casper Police on Friday.

A Friday press release from Casper police alleges that Spurlock, a retired Army sergeant, “attempted to gain control of a firearm and was subsequently shot by an officer.”

According to a preliminary coroner’s office report, Spurlock was shot in the left chest, left upper abdomen, left abdomen, left thigh, left back, left buttocks, left forearm and twice in the posterior left thigh.

The partially jacketed slugs struck Spurlock’s heart, liver and lungs according to the report. There was no evidence of “close-range firing.”

Bullets struck Spurlock from his front, side and back, according to the preliminary report which also noted he suffered multiple abrasions and lacerations.

“After autopsy and review of the history, the cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death is homicide,” the preliminary report states.

While homicide is the act of one person killing another, not all homicides are crimes and the autopsy report does not attempt to make that judgement.

The Casper Police Department has requested that the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation conduct the investigation into this incident, according to Casper Police.

“I’m wanting to make sure that this process is handled properly and that Trae, who doesn’t have a voice anymore, gets justice,” said Ryan Sweeney, a close veteran friend of Spurlock.

The involved officer was placed on paid administrative leave, according to a press release from Casper police.

Multiple calls to the Casper Police Department on Monday requesting further details went unanswered.

“He was a terrific human being — he’s done a lot through his actions to show that and he’s always been servient to other people,” said Ryan Sweeney.

Sweeney added that Spurlock had three children. Court documents supported the claim that Spurlock had three children — the oldest being born in 2018.

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