Emma Marsing, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — On September 9, 2023, shock struck the town as community members were notified of a shooting incident that had occurred at Santa Fe Southwest Grill in Rock Springs. With quick responses from staff and law enforcement, no injuries occurred and doors were able to be reopened the following day.
Yesterday evening, the city council recognized both the staff and law enforcement for their quick action in keeping everyone safe and secure as events unfolded.
“On September 9, 2023, at approximately 12:40 p.m., the Rock Springs Police Department was dispatched to Santa Fe Trail restaurant for a disturbance. Dispatch was informed that there was a male subject walking around the restaurant with two guns and multiple shots had been fired. Prior to the officer’s arrival, the staff of Santa Fe Trail evacuated all customers and employees.
Officers from the Rock Springs Police Department, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, and Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to the scene within minutes and successfully detained the suspect without further incident.
Following the initial call, detectives from the Rock Springs Police Department and agents from the Division of Criminal Investigation began the daunting task of processing the crime scene.
This incident began with the heroic actions of the Santa Fe Trail staff to think quickly on their feet to evacuate the premises while putting their own lives in danger to distract the suspect from the others in the restaurant.
It was then passed to a calming voice on the other end of the phone that belonged to the Sweetwater Combined Communications dispatchers who continued with their ability to relay information quickly and precisely to responding officers.
Officers from several agencies quickly responded to confront an individual while bravely preparing to face the unknown. They put their own lives on the line, above others, which resulted in the successful apprehension of the suspect.
This incident then concluded with members of the patrol, detectives, and individuals from outside agencies diligently processing the scene to ensure that statements and evidence were accurately collected.”
Councilor Hansen, who has been a part of law enforcement for the past 33 years, began by commending the staff and law enforcement for their actions to make light of a tragic situation. He stated, “It makes me proud to know we still got it. Thanks guys.”
Councilor Zotti was the next to speak as he stated, “Thank you to the staff who were right there when it happened. Your professionalism in getting everyone out and those who approached the gentleman to get everyone out safe and secure. It just means a lot to everyone in the community.”
Councilor Robinson was also another member to talk as he explained that on the city council, three members have or are currently serving with local law enforcement (Councilor Demas, Councilor Hansen, and Councilor Robinson). He added that the community and the council expect great things from the Rock Springs Police Department due to their high volume of training and personnel. What you rarely hear about are the people who are not being paid to wear the vest and hold their firearms. So with that, he commended those within the Santa Fe staff who took action to secure the building and keep everyone as safe as possible.
Operations Division Commander Amanda Salazar also added stating, “I just want to take a quick moment to recognize my fellow departments. Co-workers, dispatchers, and other agencies that stepped up and helped us. It’s a very proud moment for me especially to see you guys. I know you put in the hours of training and I know you put in the hard work and when push comes to shove you were there and you reacted exactly how you were trained to react. I appreciate all of you, and also my Santa Fe family, I appreciate all of you as well. You did amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome all the way around.”
Active Shooter Trainings
The Rock Springs Police Department as well as the Green River Police Department offers active shooter training to any businesses within the community. For more information, you can get ahold of the Rock Springs Police Department at (307) 352-1575 or the Green River Police Department at (307) 875-1400.