New details have emerged about Nikki Jo Burtsfield, the 39-year-old Gillette woman who was fatally shot by a Campbell County Sheriff’s deputy the night of May 20.
The investigation so far has determined that one deputy fired with lethal force. Four others who also had been on administrative leave since the incident can return to duty, according to a statement from the Campbell County Attorney’s Office.
The county attorney is working with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation to investigate the officer-involved shooting.
“After consulting with investigators at DCI and reviewing the evidence, which included audio, visual and physical evidence, it is clear that only one of the officers fired,” the statement says. “The other officers involved did not use deadly force; therefore, at this time the four officers that did not fire shots are clear to return to duty pursuant to Sheriff’s Department policy.”
No other new details have been released.
The incident began when Burtsfield’s black Chevy Avalanche was seen trespassing by Dry Fork mine at about 11:30 p.m., said Frosty Williams, operations supervisor for the Gillette office of the state Division of Criminal Investigation, in a previous interview.
When sheriff’s deputies approached Burtsfield’s truck, she fled, leading deputies on a high-speed chase.
Spike strips were deployed and brought Burtsfield’s truck to a halt on Garner Lake Road near Vaquero Drive in eastern Gillette, Williams said.
Burtsfield was alone, and upon exiting the truck, reportedly brandished a knife. Officials said she was ordered to drop the knife and did not. Deputies attempted to subdue Burtsfield with a Taser, but it didn’t stop her, at which point, Burtfield was shot and killed.
The deputies involved were put on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
Drugs may have been involved in the incident, but the results of an autopsy, including toxicology, may not be known for about four to six weeks, Williams said.
The News Record filed a Freedom of Information Act request last week with the state Attorney General’s Office, which oversees DCI, to review the audio and video from the scene of the shooting and will provide updates when details are released.