No charges to be filed in shooting near Buffalo River

No charges will be filed in the shooting death of a Branson man near the Buffalo National River. According to the Springfield News-Leader, 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Luke Ferguson says he declined to file charges after 34-year-old Jonathan Bolger was shot and killed August 20th at the Spring Creek Campground near Yellville. Ferguson told the newspaper the events did not result in the commission of a criminal offense according to Arkansas laws.

Buffalo National River officials say two National Park Service (NPS) law enforcement rangers were conducting a routine patrol of the Spring Creek Campground in the Lower District of Buffalo National River on August 20th when the incident occurred.

An investigation preliminarily revealed that as the rangers entered the campground, they were immediately confronted by a white male, later identified as Bolger. The rangers identified themselves as law enforcement officers and illuminated Bolger with flashlights. Bolger was pointing an object directly at the rangers, which they believed was a semi-automatic handgun.

The rangers ordered Bolger to drop the handgun and he refused. He continued verbally challenging them and was then shot by one of the rangers. The rangers provided immediate lifesaving efforts to Bolger, but they were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead by Regional Medical Center ambulance personnel when they arrived.

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