UPDATE: Casper Police Identify Gun-waving, Chase Suspect [VIDEO]
Police identified Doyle Gabbert as the man who pointed a gun at people in the parking lot of a grocery store Friday morning, stole a van, lead law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase through Casper and was arrested at a convenience store in north Casper.
"Gabbert was known to law enforcement as having a history of being armed and violent," Casper Police detective John Hatcher said in a news release Friday afternoon.
At 10:40 a.m., police responded to a report of a weapons offense at Ridley’s Family Market, 300 SE Wyoming Blvd. Callers identified an armed male subject who aggressively confronted and aimed a firearm at people in the parking lot.
When officers approached, Gabbert fled in a vehicle. Police and Natrona County Sheriff’s deputies saw the vehicle driving west on East Second Street.
They positioned themselves to stop the vehicle, but it pulled into the parking lot of Hobby Lobby, 2911 E. Second St.
Officers identified the suspect as Gabbert, who did not comply with commands to stop. He ran to the nearby Hilltop Storage, scaled a fence, and stole a van from a woman who was unloading items.
The subsequent westbound chase on East Second Street involved Casper Police, the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, the Wyoming Highway Patrol, and the Division of Criminal Investigation.
Gabbert turned north on Center Street, drove to north Casper and crashed the van into a fence and residence near L North Wolcott streets.
Morgan Lipes, who works at the Venezuelan restaurant Arepa Barn, 1040 N. Center St., saw the van pass by, clip a curb, and stop at Roosevelt School, she said.
Police cars arrived and the suspect began running south on an alley east of an apartment building on North Center Street, Lipes said. The suspect wore a black shirt and was carrying something in his hand, she added.
Police said Gabbert ran to the Loaf 'n' Jug store, 933 N. Center St., where he tried to steal a Coca-Cola semi-truck.
About that time, Veronica Sulzman was about to enter Stage III Community Theater across the street from the store.
Sulzman saw the suspect enter the cab of a Coca-Cola tractor trailer delivery truck at the store, which is across the street from the theater
Police said Gabbert again refused to comply with commands to surrender.
Sulzman saw police, with guns drawn, open the cab door. A K-9 police dog jumped into the cab and bit the suspect on the arm, she said.
Police said Gabbert was taken into custody and taken to the Wyoming Medical Center to be treated for minor bite wounds.
Friday morning, Hatcher said no shots were fired, no vehicles were wrecked, nor were any officers or civilians injured.
After the incident ended, law enforcement vehicles still had cordoned off a large area of north Casper between H and L streets, and North Center and North Beech streets.
An investigation into this and related incidents is ongoing, Hatcher said.
A loaded firearm believed to be associated with this incident was recovered.
Charges will be determined in consultation with the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office. Police do not believe there is any further or continuing danger to the community.
A briefing by Detective John Hatcher of the Casper Police Department can be viewed above.
Roger Gray, Tom Morton and Kevin Koile contributed to this story.