RIVERTON, Wyo. — Roy Clyde was sick of the homeless people who linger in this city’s parks, urinating in public and drinking bottles of vodka and mouthwash, he told the police. So on a recent afternoon, the police say, he grabbed his handgun, walked into an alcohol detox facility called the Center of Hope and shot two men as they lay on green floor mats, killing one and critically wounding the other.
Local officials called it a senseless attack on society’s most vulnerable fringe. But Mr. Clyde, a city parks worker, was white, and the victims were American Indians, members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Tribal officials here on the edge of the two-million-acre Wind River Reservation saw the shooting as a hate crime that added another page to a long history of violence and mistrust here in Indian Country.