Casper Good Samaritan’s Wits Lead To Capture Of Standoff Suspect
Zachary Lovelace learned Friday that a Good Samaritan in Casper was, in fact, good, but he and his wife were even better.
Lovelace, 37, also learned a few other lessons after a five-hour armed standoff west of Casper resulting in a six-count criminal indictment: four counts of aggravated assault and battery with a drawn deadly weapon; one count of felony property destruction when he trashed a police car; and one count of possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent, according to a criminal complaint filed with Natrona County Circuit Court.
He made his initial appearance in circuit court on Monday, and will have a preliminary hearing within a couple of weeks to determine whether his case will be bound over for trial.
Friday morning, a Good Samaritan -- we'll call him Sam -- was at a fishing access on Bessemer Bend Road when Lovelace approached him and asked to use his cell phone because he had to make an emergency 911 call. Sam saw a boy in Lovelace's white four-door pickup, and loaned him the phone, according to an affidavit filed in circuit court.
Lovelace, wearing a white tank top T-shirt, took the phone, got back in his pickup and drove off.
Sam wanted to help Lovelace with whatever emergency was happening. He also wanted his phone back.
So Sam drove his all-terrain vehicle to follow Lovelace.
The phone-absconding Lovelace didn't like that, put his pickup in reverse and drove backwards at a high rate of speed and stopped at Sam's ATV. Sam heard Lovelace tell the boy, "'don't move,'" "'don't f---ing move.'"
Lovelace then pointed a handgun at Sam and told him, "'I will kill you. I will f--k kill you,'" and also ordered him to put his hands up.
Sam surrendered, but didn't give up.
He waited until Lovelace was out of sight, drove home, called Mrs. Sam, then called 911 at 12:10 p.m. Friday.
Mrs. Sam then did a very smart thing. She used an application called "Find My iPhone" to search for Sam's cell phone.
The search showed the phone was near Monument and Sharrock roads.
With that information, Natrona County Sheriff's Office and Investigator Ken Jiveden, and other deputies went there and found Lovelace's pickup at a house in the 6800 block of Sharrock Road.
An officer spoke to a woman "with a 'concerned look on her face,'" and she identified herself as Lovelace's mother.
She said her son had just entered the house with his son, an AR-15-style rifle, a handgun and a bag with what she believed was ammunition. Lovelace put the rifle in a bathroom and told her he could not let law enforcement get it because it was involved in a murder. (The affidavit does not explain this statement about a murder.)
Lovelace went into the attic, she added. While in the house, law enforcement recovered the rifle, had everyone leave, and unsuccessfully asked Lovelace to surrender.
Meanwhile, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the house.
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office activated its Special Response Team to execute the warrant. While the team was in the house, Lovelace fired two shots from within the attic, and later fired two more.
SRT officers began pumping chemical munitions into the attic through a vent. Lovelace fired another two shots that exited the house near the vent. After the officers finished, they moved away from the house to avoid getting shot.
The standoff was underway, with a negotiator urging Lovelace to surrender.
After several hours, Lovelace finally had enough. He kicked a hole through the ceiling of a bedroom, climbed out a window, and began running with a black Glock handgun in his right hand.
He didn't get far.
Lovelace lost his footing, fell, and was commanded by SRT officers to drop the gun and surrender.
Lovelace complied, but not for long.
After being taken into custody and examined at the Wyoming Medical Center, a Casper Police officer drove him to the Natrona County jail.
Lovelace didn't enjoy the ride.
He tried to kick out one of the car doors to the prisoner compartment, slipped his handcuffs to the front of his person, tried to peel back the plastic molding inside the prisoner compartment, and pulled out wiring and a camera. Total cost: $3,572.77.
Lovelace wanted to get out when he was being driven to the jail.
He didn't want to get out when he arrived at the jail.
After putting up a fight, numerous officers and deputies finally were able to place him in a restraint chair.
During the minor melee, Lovelace bit a deputy, who was treated at the hospital for bite and blood exposure.
After all this commotion, he decided to shut up.
"Investigator Jividen read Z. Lovelace his Miranda Warning informing Z. Lovelace of his rights," according to the affidavit. "Z. Lovelace stated he wished to remain silent and requested legal counsel. Investigator Jividen ceased the interview."