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Man arrested Monday after ‘mass shooting’ threat in Yellowstone Park

Roosevelt Lodge. Yellowstone National Park

CASPER, Wyo. — On Monday, rangers at Yellowstone National Park arrested a park concessionaire employee after he threatened to kill people, according to a criminal complaint by a ranger and a filing in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

Robert Sherman, an employee of Xanterra, was charged with one count of disorderly conduct, which happened less than a week after another Xanterra employee died in a July 4 shootout with rangers.

According to the criminal complaint, three rangers responded to a report at 9:39 a.m. Monday that a Xanterra employee at the Roosevelt Lodge had made statements like “The next mass shooting will be here.” About an hour later, the rangers learned the Yellowstone Special Response Team was responding, too.

Meanwhile, the park’s communications center received more information about Sherman, including his picture and reports that he had made comments about “killing two people.”

The rangers were told to respond with long guns at the ready to the lodge near Tower Junction.

At 11:08 a.m., they arrived to see the area had been shut down and the buildings around Sherman’s cabin had been evacuated.

The rangers secured the area and ordered occupants out of the cabin. Sherman came out, was positively identified and was detained. A ranger took Sherman to an office at the lodge, and he remained there when a National Park Service agent and a U.S. Park Ranger arrived to interview him.

A Lodge supervisor showed them an email stating that on July 5 Sherman was in the employee dining room, got into an argument and left saying something to the effect that “the next mass shooting will happen at Roosevelt.”

Before the interview with the NPS agent and the U.S. Park Ranger, Sherman waived his Miranda rights to speak to them. He also gave them written and verbal consent to search his cabin and vehicle. Nothing of note was found during the search, according to the criminal complaint.

During the interview, Sherman admitted to the incident in the dining room where he violated a rule, and was reminded of that by another employee.

“If anything I lost my cool,” then threw down his tray, he told the agent and ranger. On the way out of the dining room, he said, “Maybe we should have a shooting down here as well.”

Sherman made the comment about 24 hours after the fatal officer-involved shooting of Xanterra employee Samson Lucas Bariah Fussner at Canyon Village less than 20 miles away from the Roosevelt Lodge.

Sherman is charged with one count of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, not more than a $5,000 fine, not more than five years’ probation and a $10 special assessment.

Court records did not indicate Sherman’s hometown, age or other biographical details.

He is being held without bail, according to court records.

Federal prosecutors filed a motion on Tuesday to detain Sherman until his trial, stating there is a serious risk he will flee, a serious risk of obstruction of justice and a serious risk to the community. Prosecutors also wrote that detention will ensure his appearance in court and the safety of any other person and the community.

He will have a formal detention hearing in three days, according to the motion.

He is scheduled to make his initial appearance to hear the charge at 11 a.m. Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Hambrick in federal court in Mammoth, Yellowstone National Park.