A Laramie County man is dead after what authorities are investigating as a defensive shooting that occurred on national forest land in Albany County during the weekend.

According to an Albany County Sheriff’s Office news release, Matthew Butrick, 43, was shot by Brice Page, 27, around 1 p.m. Saturday on Forest Service Road 702 on Pole Mountain. Page is a Laramie County resident.

The Laramie Fire Department, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Wyoming State Parks Police and Albany County deputies responded to the call.

According to the release, Page was traveling along Forest Service Road 701 when he observed a multi-colored Dodge truck apparently chasing two ATVs. After allegedly running the ATVs off the road, the driver of the truck, Butrick, exited the vehicle and began assaulting one of the ATV riders, both of whom were 15 years of age.

Page yelled to Butrick to stop the alleged assault, which then caused Butrick to threaten Page. According to the release, Page noticed the two minors prepare to leave the area, so he pulled his vehicle further up the road in order to observe and make sure everyone left the area safely.

As Page was waiting, Butrick got into his vehicle and drove over to Page and parked in front of him. The release states Butrick then exited his vehicle and began approaching Page on foot. Page then exited his vehicle in order to distance himself from his family. The release states “Butrick’s approach was aggressive and he was not speaking.”

Page began moving back from Butrick and told the man to keep his distance multiple times, but Butrick continued to move toward Page, the release states.

“Page drew a firearm from an open-carry holster and pointed it at Butrick, and ordered Butrick to stay back or he would shoot,” the release states. “Butrick continued to advance toward Page.”

After retreating backwards roughly 20 feet, Page fired his weapon and mortally wounded Butrick when the man was approximately 3 feet from Page.

The incident is currently being investigated as a self-defense shooting.

“The (Albany) County Attorney’s Office will be reviewing the case to determine if any charges will be filed,” the release states.

(3) comments


Did Officer Page ever identify himself? Did Butrick's advance on foot warrant a shoot to kill response?


Clipper: I am vaguely acquainted with Mr. Page and know for a fact that he is not a physically intimidating person. Based on the information given in the news report, Mr. Page apparently felt Mr. Butrick's aggressive behavior a sufficient threat that he exited his vehicle in order to distance himself from his family for their own safety. The fact Mr. Page displayed his handgun to Mr. Butrick highly suggests that he felt that his own size, fighting skills and experience, etc. were likely insufficient to defend himself from a man who had already demonstrated a violent personal nature and who's intentions appeared to be highly threatening. Since you question a "shoot to kill response", I can't help but wonder if you are implying that Mr. Page should have considered a warning shot (over Mr. Butrick's head, perhaps?) or disabling him with a shot to the leg or foot. Unfortunately, either option would have been necessary when there was still enough distance between the two men to allow for careful aim in a highly tense situation and I'm sure that most law enforcement officers would agree: (1) if Mr. Butrick's advance was slow enough to allow a non-lethal first shot, then it likely would have been considered a premature response by Mr. Page, and (2) it would have been extremely difficult to successfully accomplish at close range. (How often do you read about police officer's intentionally firing a disabling shot rather than a potentially fatal one?) So, are you implying that defending oneself with a firearm against an attack by an "unarmed" aggressor is not justified, even if one's perception is that the aggressor's intention is to inflict extreme harm?


Where does it say that Page is an Officer? He was traveling with his family.

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