On July 18, James “Sonny” Goggles Jr., 50, and Stallone Trosper, 29, were sleeping on green floor mattresses inside a drug and alcohol detox facility in Riverton, Wyoming. The men, both members of the Northern Arapaho tribe, were at the Center of Hope to get help with alcohol addiction. Just before 4:30 p.m., Roy Clyde, a 32-year-old Riverton city parks employee, walked into the center through a back door. He passed staff members as he made his way to the area where Goggles and Trosper lay. A few moments later, he pulled a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and shot each in the head. Trosper was killed and Goggles was critically injured.
Clyde told police he was sick of homeless people congregating in Riverton’s parks, urinating in public and drinking bottles of vodka and mouthwash. So he went looking for “park rangers” — a local slur used mostly in reference to Native Americans who congregate in the city’s parks and drink alcohol.
Now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started a probe into whether the shooting was a hate crime. Clyde, who is white, indicated to police that “his decision was not race-based and that he was targeting transient people regardless of race.” He indicated that if he had encountered white people meeting his criteria, he “would have killed them as well.”