Cheyenne police investigate double homicide and suicide

CHEYENNE — Police say a local man killed two other Cheyenne residents just after midnight Tuesday morning in Romero Park before killing himself.

Michael Tolar, 44, Abigail Smith, 24, and Brian Perkins, 46, were all dead when officers arrived on scene.

Detectives determined that Perkins shot Smith and Tolar before shooting himself after the three met in the parking lot of the park.

CPD is investigating personal relationships as a motivating factor in the case, which is still under investigation.

CPD spokesman Officer Kevin Malatesta said the three people knew each other, and police are still trying to collect information to establish their relationship.

Perkins is the sole suspect in the case, but Mal- atesta said police are investigating the case like any other fatal shooting, as if the suspect were still alive. The only difference is that at the end of the case, if the suspect were alive, charges would be recommended to the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office. Since the suspect is dead, the case doesn’t get forwarded to the DA, he said.

Smith was an airman from F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Base officials said Tuesday that they’re fully cooperating with authorities in the investigation, according to a news release.

“Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those affected by this incident,” Col. Peter M. Bonetti, commander of the 90th Missile Wing, said in a news release. “Airmen and families define our Air Force. They are and always will be our top priority. Losing one is too many.”

Due to the time and location of the shooting, there were no witnesses to the crime.

Police were notified of the homicide when a family member of one of the victims called police. The family member had received a phone call from another family member that concerned them and called police at 12:02 a.m.

When officers arrived on scene at 12:05 a.m., all three people were dead. It’s believed the shootings occurred just before midnight.

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr was notified of the situation early Tuesday morning and said it’s a very sad incident.

This is the second fatal shooting in Cheyenne in the past two-and-a-half weeks. Despite this, Orr and Malatesta said there isn’t a concern for public safety because the two shootings are unrelated.

Malatesta said it’s normal for Cheyenne to have around three to four homicides a year. This most recent situation brings the total to four homicides for 2019.

With the two shootings occurring in close proximity to each other, Orr said she’s concerned about CPD. She said these types of cases tax a lot of the police department’s resources. She also said she would like to see CPD staffing increase to help police handle the growing city.

Malatesta said whenever a fatal shooting such as this occurs, it does create a drain on CPD resources, but it’s nothing the department can’t handle. He said CPD trains and prepares for just such situations.