In keeping with the Casper Police Department’s long-standing commitment to transparency, the Department is releasing the names of the officers involved in a May 6th, 2021, officer-involved shooting.
The primary officer involved, and the only officer who discharged his firearm, was Officer Jake Bigelow. Officer Bigelow is a two-year veteran of the Casper Police Department. Officer Bigelow serves the Department as a patrol officer, field training officer, tactical medic, and accident investigator. The secondary officer involved was Officer Andrew Linkowski. Officer Linkowski is a 6-month veteran of the Department and is currently in training.
Both officers were immediately placed on paid administrative leave following the incident.
The Casper Police Department remains steadfast in our efforts to maintain transparency and public confidence concerning the actions of our officers. As such, immediately following the incident, the investigation was turned over to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI). Developing details about the incident and the ultimate findings of that investigation are the knowledge of DCI until the investigation reaches a conclusion, at which point DCI will notify the Casper Police Department. The determination concerning the justification of the shooting is the decision of the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office following the conclusion of the DCI investigation. In addition to this investigation, the Casper Police Department Internal Affairs Division conducts a concurrent and separate investigation concerning Department policy and procedure. Upon conclusion of these findings and decisions, the Casper Police Department will hold a timely public news conference to discuss the incident and investigation findings.
The Department recognizes the impacts an event such as this can have on the loved ones of the deceased, the officers, and our entire community. Our condolences are with all those affected by this incident. We would like to thank the community for their support of the Department and our involved officers during this difficult time.–Below is a copy of the original statement, released a few hours after the incident on May 6th, 20201.
Shortly before 4:00am this morning, May 6th, 2021, Casper Police Officers were involved in a tragic incident that resulted in a use of force action.
At 3:54 am this morning, Officers were in the area of East H Street and North Elma Street in Casper when they attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle.
The two officers approached the vehicle to speak with the two occupants inside. At one point, the driver unexpectedly exited the vehicle, while the passenger moved into the driver’s seat and attempted to flee the scene.
While one of the officers contacted the driver, the other officer began to take actions to stop the fleeing vehicle. Despite the second officer’s efforts, the new driver accelerated from the scene at a high rate of speed while the officer, still inside the vehicle with the driver, continued to order the driver to stop.
Eventually, the vehicle entered onto the Interstate, into the oncoming traffic lanes. During the course of this event, the officer fired their weapon at the suspect driving the vehicle, and then safely stopped the vehicle along the side of the Interstate.
That suspect was pronounced deceased at a local hospital.
The primary Officer-involved sustained no serious injuries. The second officer involved in the incident was uninjured and did not fire their weapon.
In accordance with the Casper Police Department’s policy, due to the involvement of a Casper Police Officer in this incident and the use of force action, the investigation has been turned over to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI), a third-party State agency, for a thorough and independent investigation.
In accordance with the Casper Police Department’s protocol and dedication to the standards of our profession, the two officers involved in this incident have been placed on paid administrative leave. This action has been taken out of an abundance of caution, pending a full investigation by DCI. This protocol is in place to ensure the integrity of the investigation as well as to safeguard the mental health of the officers after a traumatic event.
Additional information will be released as it becomes available from these agencies.
The Casper Police Department is dedicated to the protection and safety of our community through the highest standards of professionalism in police services.