Officer with gun

An officer stands with a rifle Friday on Sharrock Road. The man arrested that evening after a six-hour standoff with local law enforcement faces five felony charges.

The man arrested Friday evening after a six-hour standoff with local law enforcement faces six felonies for allegedly pointing a gun at a man, shooting at law enforcement and damaging a patrol vehicle.

Zachary Lovelace, 37, was formally charged Monday afternoon at his initial court appearance with four counts of aggravated assault and battery, one count of felony property destruction and one count of possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent.

Deputies with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office arrested Lovelace after he hid from authorities in a relative’s home on Sharrock Road after allegedly robbing a man nearby.

Law enforcement received a report just after noon Friday that a man had been robbed at gunpoint at the fishing access point on Bessemer Bend Road. The alleged victim told deputies that a man, later identified as Lovelace, had asked to use his cellphone to make an emergency call. Lovelace then took the phone and drove away in a white truck that had a small boy inside, according to court documents.

The alleged victim said that Lovelace then stopped the truck and pointed a handgun at him through the window. According to the alleged victim, Lovelace said, “I will kill you” before driving away, the documents state.

The man’s wife used an application connected to the iPhone to track its location and relayed that information to law enforcement.

Law enforcement found a truck matching the description a short time later in the 6800 block of Sharrock Road. A woman was standing in the window of the home with “a concerned look on her face,” according to the documents.

The woman, who was related to Lovelace, told law enforcement that Lovelace had come inside the home with his child, an AR-15-style rifle, a handgun and a bag that possibly contained ammunition, the documents state. She said that Lovelace then climbed into the home’s attic. 

Law enforcement then entered the home, took control of the rifle and evacuated everyone inside other than Lovelace, who refused to turn himself in.

Investigators then applied for a search warrant and the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office Special Response team was called to execute that warrant at the home.

Lovelace fired two shots from within the attic while members of the team attempted to serve the warrant, according to the documents. He fired later two more shots as law enforcement put “chemical munitions” through a vent that led into the attic space. According to the documents, the two bullets burst through the home’s exterior near the vent where the officers were working.

Several hours later, Lovelace left the attic by kicking a hole through the ceiling of a bedroom. He then climbed through a window and tried to run from the home while holding a handgun. Lovelace then apparently lost his footing and fell, the documents state. He then let go of the gun per law enforcement commands and was taken into custody about 6:20 p.m.

An ambulance then took Lovelace to the Wyoming Medical Center before a Casper police officer took him to the Natrona County Detention Center. During the ride to the jail, Lovelace attempted to kick out one of the patrol car’s doors and later slipped off his handcuffs before attempting to destroy other parts of the car, including the camera and airbags. In total, authorities believe he caused about $3,500 in damage to the car, the documents state.

Multiple officers and deputies were required to remove Lovelace from the patrol car, and he was placed in a “restraint chair” at the jail. At some point during the struggle, Lovelace bit a deputy’s hand, the documents show.

Lovelace refused to speak with investigators and requested an attorney.

Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Brian Christensen set Lovelace’s bond at $500,000 at his initial appearance Monday afternoon. During the hearing, Lovelace said he’s lived in Casper his entire life and a prosecutor noted that Lovelace did not have an extensive criminal history.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer


Features Editor

Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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