Suspect From Wednesday on the Loose, Considered ‘Armed and Dangerous’
The Casper Police Department have offered more information as to the situation that occurred Wednesday afternoon and through the evening, involving a suspect who had reportedly barricaded themselves inside of a home.
When police eventually entered the residence, the suspect was not actually there.
Now, the CPD has offered more details regarding who the suspect is, why he is wanted, and what exactly happened on Wednesday evening.
"The Casper Police Department, in concert with several supporting agencies, has been investigating and attempting to locate wanted fugitive, Joshua Charles Crook," the CPD wrote in a press release. "Mr. Crook has an active warrant for an aggravated assault charge, involving a firearm, from August 2022.
"During the course of the investigation, our department has learned that Mr. Crook is armed and has made comments outlining violent motives and intentions. During the course of our investigation, Mr. Crook is alleged to have stolen vehicles, eluded multiple attempts by law enforcement to capture him, and taken actions that put the general public in danger. More charges for Mr. Crook will be pending because of these overt actions."
The CPD then detailed the events that occurred on Wednesday, November 16, writing that "As a result of our ongoing investigation, we learned that Mr. Crook was armed and possibly barricaded inside a residence on the 1500 block of Westridge Dr., in Casper. This information lead to a multi-hour investigation involving the Natrona County Sheriff's Office joint Special Response Team. That investigation concluded with Mr. Crook not being located inside the residence."
The CPD stated that their goal throughout this investigation was to be "slow, systematic, and safe for the surrounding residents and the children of nearby Cottonwood Elementary."
With this goal, they immediately executed a "safety plan" with the Natrona County School District to safely remove students from the area.
"That plan was executed exceedingly well, and we thank all of the parties who helped execute that plan successfully," the CPD wrote.
The Casper Police Department noted that they do not believe there is any ongoing danger at the residence, located in the area of 15th Street and Westridge Drive.
"Additionally, and more importantly, we do not believe there is any ongoing concern for the safety of the children, families, or staff of Cottonwood Elementary," the CPD wrote. "Our hope, as always, is to bring a peaceful resolution to this situation, and take Mr. Crook into custody without incident."
Casper Police cautioned that if you see Joshua Crook in public, do not approach him or try to apprehend him. Contact 911 immediately with the location, description, and circumstances of your sighting.
They told residents to be prepared to give follow-up information, such as direction of travel, vehicle information, and any other important information that may be used to safely apprehend the suspect.
"If you know Mr. Crook, or have personal ties to him, please relay to him that we are wishing for a peaceful outcome," the CPD wrote.