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State charges won't be filed in connection with the August death of a Missouri man who was shot by a park ranger while camping near the Buffalo National River, a prosecutor said Monday.

Luke Ferguson, a Faulkner County prosecutor whose judicial district includes Searcy County, where the shooting took place, said he will not file charges because the events leading to the death of Jonathan Bolger did not constitute a criminal offense under state law.

Bolger, 34, of Branson was shot and killed by a park ranger Aug. 20 at Spring Creek Campground near Yellville.

Officials with the National Park Service have said Bolger pointed a BB gun that appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun at two National Park Service rangers before he was shot and killed.

The National Park Service has not released the names of the rangers involved in the shooting.

The rangers were on a routine patrol when they entered Spring Creek Campground around 1:34 a.m. and were confronted by a man later identified as Bolger, according to a Sept. 7 release from Buffalo National River spokesman Caven Clark.

The release said the park rangers identified themselves as law enforcement officers and shined their flashlights on Bolger, who was pointing the gun at them. Believing the gun was a semi-automatic handgun, the park rangers ordered Bolger to drop the gun but he refused, according to the release.

Bolger continued to challenge them verbally and was shot by one of the park rangers, the release said.

The park rangers began lifesaving efforts but were unable to revive Bolger, according to the release. Emergency personnel from North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison pronounced Bolger dead at the scene.

Attorney David Ransin, who represents Bolger's family, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously that Bolger had the BB gun to fend off raccoons.

Ransin said Monday that he will request and review all of the investigation files.

Information for this article was contributed by Bill Bowden of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

State Desk on 01/30/2018

Print Headline: Ranger who killed camper won't face state charges


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  • MaxCady
    January 30, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.

    They got nothing better to do than hassle people at 1:30 in the morning??!!