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Man Who Died of Self-inflicted Gunshot is identified

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Date: May 13, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A man found deceased after park rangers and tactical team negotiators spent several hours trying to talk him out of a residence in Grand Canyon National Park has been identified as 51 year old Mark Twain Ferguson of Arizona.

At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, National Park Service investigators attempted to contact Ferguson regarding an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court. Ferguson, who was visiting a local resident and staying in a house in a park residential area, repeatedly refused to engage park investigators when they attempted to talk to him.

Because he was believed to be in possession of a weapon, park personnel took every precaution to protect the safety of their team and local residents, calling in the Flagstaff Tactical Operations Team, evacuating all nearby residences and closing off nearby roads. 

Once the tactical team arrived, their negotiator joined in the efforts to elicit a response from Ferguson; but he remained silent and closed inside the residence.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., after exhausting all other options, the tactical team entered the home and found Ferguson deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Did You Know?


In Grand Canyon,one of the broad, sandy areas on the north bank of the Colorado River is Unkar Delta, composed of rock debris carried from the North Rim by Unkar Creek. Prehistoric Pueblo people occupied numerous sites on Unkar Delta and along Unkar Creek for about 350 years (A.D. 850 to A.D. 1200)