Hunter shot by Libby man remains in ICU; condition upgraded to stable

2013-11-25T13:22:00Z 2014-10-03T14:24:30Z Hunter shot by Libby man remains in ICU; condition upgraded to stable missoulian.com

LIBBY – The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that a Colorado man who was accidentally shot by another hunter did not have his leg amputated as a result of the wound, or the tourniquet that was applied by the shooter.

Undersheriff Brent Faulkner identified the gunshot victim as 60-year-old John Cleveland. Faulkner did not say where Cleveland lives in Colorado.

Cleveland remains in the intensive care unit at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, where his condition has been upgraded to stable.

Mike Wagner, 48, of Libby shot Cleveland on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 16, the sheriff’s office said. The two hunters did not know each other.

Wagner also contacted authorities, helped apply a tourniquet to Cleveland’s right thigh and, with the assistance of his son, began transporting Cleveland to St. John Lutheran Hospital in Libby. An ambulance that was dispatched met them, and took Cleveland the rest of the way.

Cleveland was then transferred to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and initially had been listed in critical condition.

The tourniquet had been applied above what authorities called a “substantial wound” to Cleveland’s right thigh.

“The near-term intent is to stabilize Cleveland enough to transfer (him) to a Colorado hospital for further medical care,” Faulkner said.

The sheriff’s office, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the U.S. Forest Service investigated the shooting. Faulkner said no more information will be released until the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office has reviewed the results.

Reporter Vince Devlin can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or by email at vdevlin@missoulian.com.

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(12) Comments

  1. someguy
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    someguy - January 07, 2014 1:04 pm
    I'm curious why the shooter's military background makes it more suspicious. Because ex-military all have great gun safety? HA!!! If anything, it makes it less likely that he deliberately shot the guy. If you are trying to kill someone with a .300 WinMag, you have to do a lot of things wrong to leave him alive.
  2. chinook223
    Report Abuse
    chinook223 - December 18, 2013 9:56 pm
    56er, time to set you straight on a couple of issues. First of all, screen names are not animate objects and cannot make “stops” because they never get started. Seems you are in the habit of taking your self-defined virtual reality a little too seriously.

    Secondly, my friend, you have no idea who those folks posting under various screen names actually are. That is the purpose for screen names, and unless you are clairvoyant, you have no way of knowing. Sorry to burst your omnipotent bubble, but “POP!”

    The whole point of inquiring into a story, posing questions, and offering corroborating information for the public’s perusal is to bring the truth to light. If the people here knew the truth, there would be no point in asking question.

    You are way over the top, my friend, in your pejorative choice of words: garbage, agenda, bull. In fact, one might use those very words to describe your uncalled-for attack on thoughtful people who are appalled by what happened to an innocent man on his own property that just happens to adjoin the proposed Montanore Mine site.

    Where are your facts, 56er? As far as I can tell from your caustic diatribe, you don’t have any, at least none you want to share. You add absolutely nothing to this discussion.
  3. 56er
    Report Abuse
    56er - December 12, 2013 7:56 pm
    Seems "Skookum", "Angel Eyes", "Chinook223" and other various screen names, have been making the publicity stops lately spreading "their" stories of how this accident is connected to the Montanore project. What garbage spread by one person! You have spread the same "information" in all the major newspapers in the area. So if you keep getting it printed, it makes it true? So where are the "facts"? All you have is "questions" you pose. You have an agenda to use whatever means (however low) to attempt to stop or slow the Montanore project. It's complete Bull&^%$. Notice how their "opinion" is presented as "factual information"? It's quite easy to see where the true opinions end and the Bull&^%$ starts.
  4. chinook223
    Report Abuse
    chinook223 - December 03, 2013 6:46 pm
    It is hard to believe that a dispute over mining rights could be taken to such extremes, but keep in mind that the Montanore Mine may yield billions of dollars in silver and copper. That's a powerful incentive to use any means available to remove opposition. I read last spring that Montanore Minerals got busted in Lincoln County for claim jumping too. All in all, a very worrisome turn of events involving an unscrupulous corporation. When you consider, too, that the sheriff and his deputies were recently in federal court facing corruption and obstruction of justice charges, it's really hard to know what to believe. I wish that members of the press would act like journalists and check this out.
  5. Angel Eyes
    Report Abuse
    Angel Eyes - December 02, 2013 11:32 am
    The victim is a good man from a good family. This story is suspicious and unsettling. If Mike Wagner was on private land when this happened it is even more so because there are signs all over the place. The emphasis on the life saving hero angle is a little too much. Wagner shot, seriously injured and could have killed a person. It is no secret that a large piece of private property adjacent to their mine, owned by someone who was intent upon protecting it, presents problems for Montanore. I hope the county attorney is investigating this but I have my doubts.
  6. skookum
    Report Abuse
    skookum - November 30, 2013 7:48 pm
    The so-called “Colorado man” shot by a Libby “hunter” is the largest private landowner in the Libby Creek area. His family has owned over one thousand acres along the creek for around 100 years. He has been battling over property, water and minerals rights with the owners of the Montanore Mine since 1991. He is one of the most significant threats to the permitting of the Montanore Mine project.

    The shooter, Mike Wagner of Libby, formerly worked at the Troy mine, which shut down operations earlier this year due to instability. According to his Facebook page, Wagner appears to have a military background and is an avid, experienced hunter. In his profile photo, Wagner is proudly holding his AR-15, an extremely accurate, semi-automatic high-tech rifle advertised as “the ultimate long range target and tactical firearm.”

    This article leaves many questions unanswered. Where was Wagner when he shot the victim? Was it on public or private property? What was he shooting at? Why is the sheriff so adamant that the shooter and the victim do not know each other? Why did the Lincoln County sheriff’s department wait 9 days to release the men’s names, and why are they withholding further information now? This is not in keeping with their usual policy.

    In fact, why is the press is allowing the sheriff’s department to control the flow of information at all? Sheriff Roby Bowe and some of his deputies are facing charges in federal court for evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.
  7. Objective observer
    Report Abuse
    Objective observer - November 26, 2013 10:59 am
    I just don't get how people can say that it's not the fault of the shooter. It boggles the mind. No accountability? It's people like these that give responsible hunters a bad name that they don't deserve.
  8. GaryEG
    Report Abuse
    GaryEG - November 25, 2013 6:06 pm
    I'm curious. If the man that got shot was NOT a hunter, would it still be no ones fault? The reason I ask is because it seems to be the everage hunter mentality that anything that gets shot that is not emblazoned with orange is to blame for not wearing said orange coverings.
    P.S. I wonder if both hunters were wearing orange and if they were then that kinda blows a hole in the whole your safe in orange way of thinking. I also disagree that no one is at fault. People need to be held accountable when they pull the trigger.
  9. Roger
    Report Abuse
    Roger - November 25, 2013 5:34 pm
    Most hunting accidents are caused by a failure to follow the rules of firearm safety, such as shooting at something that the hunter hasn't properly identified.
  10. MiddleFinger
    Report Abuse
    MiddleFinger - November 25, 2013 3:40 pm


    Those Colorado hunters do look an awful lot like wolves.

    Perhaps they should wear more orange.


  11. Kahlotus
    Report Abuse
    Kahlotus - November 25, 2013 2:31 pm
    It's no one's fault? Seriously? It's the fault io the person who did not positively identify his target before pulling the trigger. What's up with all these apologist making up excuses for people shooting at anything that moves?
  12. Two Arrows
    Report Abuse
    Two Arrows - November 25, 2013 2:09 pm
    I've huntede for years and accidents do happen. It's no ones fault like the law tries to determine it's impossible to Know where everyone is at all times. Two Arrows
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