Christen’s wife had reported that he was “throwing furniture” and “it’s getting physical,” according to a news release from Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam.
Responding Cody police officers got a toddler out of the home shortly after they arrived on scene, but two other children remained in a basement with Christen, Rockvam said.
Police began speaking with Christen, but he and his two sons repeatedly refused to come out of the basement.
At 11 p.m. — about an hour after the stand-off began — Christen began shooting towards the police officers, the release said. The man came up from the basement continuing to fire shots, police said.
Christen was armed with a rifle and near the front door of the home when an unnamed officer confronted him, Rockvam said.
Christen reportedly refused to comply with the officer’s commands and the officer shot him. He was taken to West Park Hospital and pronounced dead.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, as part of standard procedure for any officer-involved shooting, will investigate the incident. Also as a part of standard procedure, the officer who shot Christen has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete, said Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric. The officer won’t be publicly identified until that time, Skoric said.
An autopsy will be a part of the investigation, he said.
Rockvam directed media calls to Skoric, who said he did not have additional details to share on the incident on Wednesday.
Skoric also said he couldn’t comment on whether Christen had any previous contact with law enforcement.
Christen did not have any criminal history in Wyoming outside of a traffic violation, according to a search for his name in state court records.
Park County Circuit Court records do show that Christen’s wife filed for protection from him in August 2010, but later dropped the civil matter without a hearing.
Cody police logs also indicate that on July 24, 2009, Christen's wife went to the Cody Law Enforcement Center to report that he was "drunk and acting crazy." She said Christen had broken down a door in their home and that she went to the law enforcement center because it was a safe place, according to the police log.
Skoric said he did not know how long DCI’s investigation would take.
“As long as it’s thorough, that’s what I’m concerned with,” he said.