The case against a man who is accused of opening fire with a handgun at a Casper hospital had his preliminary hearing in Natrona County Circuit Court, Thursday. The judge has bound the case over to Natrona County District Court.
20-year-old Mitchell Taylor faces two recommended charges of Aggravated Assault, as well as recommended charges of Using a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, and one charge of Felony Property Destruction.
According to the affidavit, Taylor reported having thoughts of self harm in the time leading up to the incident. He also reportedly told investigators that he had ingested LSD before going to the hospital.
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Lysergic acid diethylamide also known as LSD or “acid,” is a hallucinogenic drug.
Taylor told police that he went to WMC to seek assistance, but could not find anyone to help him. He reports that he remembers holding the gun to his head, but not remembering anything after that.
Taylor did report to investigators that he believed he fired the gun at some point.
He further told police that he had taken the drug LSD before.
Taylor is quoted in the affidavit as asking officers if he had killed anyone. Officers told the suspect that he had not, and Taylor replied “that’s what I figured.”
No injuries were reported in the incident.
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk called a Casper Police Department Detective to the stand, who reviewed the charges against Taylor.
The detective said that two witnesses said that they saw Taylor in the hallway of Wyoming Medical Center, while holding a gun.
One witness, a housekeeper at the hospital, reported to have entered the hallway from an adjacent room and saw Taylor with the gun “pointed away from himself,” according to the detective’s testimony. The witness then claimed that Taylor said “what are you looking at?”
The housekeeper then told investigators that she fled the area, and heard approximately three shots being fired, as she was running away. The detective testified that shots had struck a storage cabinet in the area where the housekeeper had been standing.
Another employee of Wyoming Medical Center, identified as a doctor, also said that he had seen Taylor with a gun, in the WMC hallways. The doctor was reported to have left a physician’s lounge area, before noticing Taylor, who was reportedly crouched and pointing a gun at the doctor.
The doctor fled the area and said that as he was running to the Emergency Room area of WMC, he heard approximately four shots behind him. The investigator said that bullet damage was found nearby where the doctor had been standing by a concrete door.
Police also testified that they had reviewed video of the incident, that did not include sound. However, the detective testified that smoke from the gun is visible in the videos, as well as debris falling from the ceiling as the gun was being fired.
The gun, which was said to have been recovered by police was reported as a Springfield 9mm handgun.
During cross examination by Taylor’s defense attorney, the detective also said that Taylor had originally entered the building from a security door that may have been unlocked at the time of the incident.
The detective also told the defense attorney that Taylor was interviewed shortly after the incident, and that it was the detective’s opinion that the suspect was behaving in a manor that indicated LSD use. Blood tests were reportedly taken at the time, but results were not available during the preliminary hearing.
It was also said that ammunition matching the seized firearm was found in Taylor’s vehicle, as well as a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.
The defense also argued for a lower bond amount. The defense attorney said that Taylor had no criminal history, and was on a “bad acid trip” at the time of the incident. Calling the shooting a “crime of intoxication,” the defense said that Taylor should be held at a lower bond with family custody, day reporting, and an Addiction Severity Index be completed.
Taylor’s bond was continued at $500,000 cash or surety, by Circuit Court Judge H. Stephen Brown.
All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.