CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An American Indian man remains in critical condition after a weekend shooting at a Wyoming detox center that has spurred his tribe to demand federal hate crime charges.
Doctors at a Casper hospital are warning that James “Sonny” Goggles, 50, of Riverton, Wyoming, may be left blind and paralyzed from a gunshot wound to the head, a family spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Authorities have charged 32-year-old Riverton parks worker Roy Clyde with murder and attempted murder in Saturday’s shooting at a detox center in Riverton that wounded Goggles and killed Stallone Trosper, 29.
Authorities say Clyde told investigators he wanted to kill homeless people because he was tired of seeing them drinking and relieving themselves in city parks. He surrendered to police after the shooting.
Goggles and Trosper are members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Tribal officials this week demanded that Clyde be charged with hate crimes. No lawyer has filed paperwork yet to represent Clyde.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Cheyenne has said the office is in touch with local authorities and tracking the investigation.
Stephanie C’Hair, the wife of Goggles’ nephew, is serving as a spokeswoman for the family as relatives try to raise money on GiveForward.com to cover the expense of staying with Goggles while he receives medical care.
C’Hair said Wednesday that Goggles has no children and never married, but he wasn’t homeless. He served in the Navy for eight years and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, she said.
Goggles’ shooting has been heartbreaking for his family, C’Hair said.
“My mother-in-law’s world got turned upside down,” she said.
Dean Goggles, who is chairman of the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s governing body and Sonny Goggles’ cousin, said the trend of violence against Indian people in and around Riverton is alarming. In an unsolved 2013 case, a Northern Arapaho woman survived being shot in the eye in Riverton. The town of about 11,000 people is surrounded by the Wind River Indian Reservation, which is home to the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.
“It’s our responsibility as tribal leaders to do everything we can to try and stop these crimes of hate,” Dean Goggles said Tuesday in a statement demanding hate crime charges for Clyde.
Riverton Mayor John “Lars” Baker said this week that the shooting was a tragedy that left city residents puzzled and sad. He said he didn’t think the U.S. Department of Justice would meet much local resistance if it wanted to pursue a hate crimes prosecution.
Baker said problems with homelessness and public drinking in Riverton have eased in recent years since the detox center opened and has been operated with city support. He said the center has helped scores of people by sending them for long-term treatment.
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