yellowstone national park
Credit: Yellowstone National Park

Shootout at Yellowstone National Park Leaves Suspect Dead, Ranger Injured

Officials with Yellowstone National Park say a park ranger was injured and a suspect was killed in a shooting inside the park.

Officials with Yellowstone National Park say a park ranger was injured and a suspect was killed during a shooting inside the park. According to an announcement, the incident happened overnight before the morning of July 4. Rangers responded to a report about a person with a firearm making threats at Canyon Village, a lodging area inside the park.

When rangers made contact with the person, gunfire erupted at some point between the two. As a result, the person was killed and a park ranger was injured. The ranger was transported to a nearby hospital, treated for injuries, and listed in stable condition.

Images shared by the Facebook page NPS Ranger News purportedly show law enforcement officers in tactical gear in a roped-off area. They're also entering one of the lodges for staff. The social media page also reported that the suspect was an employee at one of the concession stands on site. However, those details have not been confirmed.

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Although there is no active threat to the public, officials say the FBI is still investigating the incident. Officials also declined to release the suspect's name at this point.


Park rangers in tactical gear patrolling a staff residence in Yellowstone National Park. Credit: NPS Ranger News/Facebook

Violence inside the national parks

According to the National Park Service, homicide ranks as one of the lowest causes of death inside the national parks. Between the years 2007 to 2023, the Park Service reported 43 homicides. Conversely, most deaths inside a national park are caused by drowning, vehicle collisions, medical events, and suicide.

Although Yellowstone is the oldest and one of the most visited national parks in the country, it does not even rank in the top 10 for the most deadly.

According to the Park Service's investigative service's 2020 annual report, special agents worked on a total of 584 cases. Of which, 67% were crimes against persons.