Shooting points to the victim as the perp

By on February 18, 2011

Jackson Hole, Wyo. – Jackson Hole residents were shocked when news broke weeks ago of a shooting near a number of area schools. The shooting victim, Clancy Shaffer, 19, told police he was smoking a cigarette near his home when he was gunned down by an assailant wearing a black hoody, black bandana and blue jeans.

The Jackson Hole Police Department wasted little time putting local schools on lockdown. Its warning that a gunman might still be on the loose was broadcast on local radio and reported on local websites, sending waves of panic and fear rippling through the community.

After all that, Chief of Police Todd Smith says preliminary results of analysis of evidence collected at the scene of the shooting indicate that Shaffer’s story of a masked gunman was a hoax, and the department has closed the case.

Shaffer told police the story of the random gunman to cover up the gunshot wound he sustained when he shot himself with his father’s 40-mm Glock handgun, distraught after being spurned by an out-of-state ex-girlfriend, Smith said.

During a recent visit to Cheyenne, Smith brought both a single bullet casing found near the pathway a short distance from Shaffer’s home in the Cottonwood Park subdivision and Ed Shaffer’s Glock pistol for ballistics analysis at the Wyoming State Crime Lab.

Smith said initial analysis of the firearm and ammunition found at the Shaffer residence confirms the spent round found at the crime scene was fired from the handgun belonging to Ed Shaffer. That conclusion, Smith said, refutes Clancy Shaffer’s story of being shot by an unidentified gunman.

JHPD is awaiting further ballistics analysis and the results of DNA tests on the Glock and the spent round.

According to a JHPD press release today, detectives have “”ceased their investigation and closed the case.”” The Department is sending the case to Teton County Attorney Steve Weichman, “”who will be asked to consider filing charges against Mr. Shaffer for making a false police report,”” a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.

According to Smith, police detectives identified the recovered bullet casing as an uncommon brand and model of ammunition. Upon serving a search warrant at the Shaffer residence, police officers found a box of miscellaneous ammo belonging to Ed Shaffer. The ammo box contained rounds of the unique brand and model fired when Clancy Shaffer was shot, Smith said.

Smith said Ed Shaffer told police he owned a 40-caliber Glock, which he typically keeps unloaded, and he voluntarily turned the weapon over for comparison. Prior to examining the gun, police detectives determined the spent shell could have been fired from any number of 40-caliber handguns, practically any such weapon other than a Glock, Smith said.

When a gun’s firing pin strikes a bullet primer, Smith explained, it leaves an impression.

“This bullet casing had a circle-shaped primer impression. Stock Glocks leave a unique firing impression: a triangle, not a circle,” Smith said.

Ed Shaffer told police detectives he had an aftermarket firing pin installed in his handgun, one that leaves a round primer impression rather than a triangular one. Smith said crime lab analysis of the spent shell casing, the specialized ammo found in the Shaffer residence and Ed Shaffer’s gun confirms the shot fired in the Cottonwoods last Tuesday was that same unique type of ammo and that it was discharged from Shaffer’s modified Glock. The handgun also had aftermarket accessories.

Photos found by detectives on Clancy Shaffer’s computer show him pointing a handgun gangster style at the camera. Smith said aftermarket accessories visible on the firearm in the photo match those on Ed Shaffer’s 40-mm Glock.

Searching the disheveled Shaffer residence, Smith said police found a number of firearms. Ed Shaffer told police he was unaware though unsurprised his son knew where to find his modified Glock and the specialized ammo, Smith said.

When Clancy Shaffer was first interviewed by police detectives after Tuesday’s shooting, he told police detectives he was gunned down by an assailant dressed in a black hoodie sweatshirt, black bandana and blue jeans and wearing a pair of black sunglasses. Smith said it was struck him as suspicious that, at the time he was shot, Shaffer was wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt, black bandana and blue jeans. “The only thing that was different in the description from what he was wearing at the time was the sunglasses,” Smith said.

In a later interview with police detectives, Shaffer said his assailant was wearing black skater shoes, a detail Smith said struck him as being almost too much information. Shaffer, who is recovering from his injuries at a hospital in Idaho Falls, was wearing “multi-colored” shoes when he was shot, Smith said.

Smith said it also strikes him as peculiar that his department has not received one tip related to the case on its confidential Crime Stoppers information system, though the department has followed up on rumor-based leads it has received.

Shaffer could potentially find himself defending a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment in addition to the charge of filing a false police report. However, the amount of media publicity the case has received in just the past week could make it difficult for Teton County Attorney Steve Weichman to prosecute the case.


Reader Comments:

Damn it. Locked in a bathroom for nothing.

Remember Fight Club? Sounds like Tyler Durden has struck again. At least this time he didn’t shoot himself through the cheek.
Danny Haworth

JHW: “”could make it difficult for Teton County Attorney Steve Weichman to prosecute the case.”” Get Real. The only problem I see is that most folks will think he got the punishment he deserved with the gunshot.
eyeson jackson

This article is incorrect in calling the weapon a 40-mm Glock, It is a 40 caliber Glock. Probabily a Glock 22.

Too bad it wasn’t a 40mm. The average IQ of the world would have gone up a half point or so.

Don’t let this story deter you from thinking that more guns and the freedom to carry them everywhere will enhance public safety.
Reality Bias

I wouldn’t say Clancy suffers from low IQ. He displays far more smarts then the average porn/failblog/video-game addicted ameritard. To bad he’s self-destructive, but that is one of the few outlets smart people have in this dumbed-down world.

Calling it a 40-mm Glock shows the ineptitude of yet another Planet reporter.

Clancy is by no means stupid. I know him personally, he’s a good friend of mine. He’s rather intelligent. However, he isn’t the best liar. More than anything I worry about his mental health. I know he’s had a rough go but I never thought it would go this far.

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