Michael “Topher” Clark was shot dead by a drunk man during an altercation at a bar.
One of the most famous cannabis smugglers in the U.S. died recently from a gunshot wound. Michael “Topher” Clark was killed during an altercation at a bar in northern Idaho. Clark became famous when his experience as a big-time marijuana smuggler was used as the basis for the 2014 film “Kid Cannabis.”
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the bar at about 1:40 a.m. Sunday and found Clark and other patrons in the parking lot, according to court records. White was being held at gunpoint by one of Clark’s friends.
Bar Fight Turns Deadly
In the early hours of Sunday morning, local officials in Hayden, Idaho responded to a call about a fight at a bar called The Tipsy Pine.
When authorities arrived at the scene, they found a man on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. That man was Michael Clark. He had reportedly been shot by a man who has since been identified as 33 year old Coeur d’Alene resident Scott M. White.
According to local news sources, White and Clark got into a fight earlier that night at the bar. Friends who were present at the incident said the whole thing started when Clark approached White about being too loud.
In response, White said something back to Clark, calling him by name. This apparently alarmed and angered Clark, who apparently did not know White.
From there, tensions escalated quickly. White punched Clark in the head, leaving Clark bleeding. From there, Clark allegedly hit White in the face and they started brawling.
As soon as the two men started fighting, the bartender quickly moved to break up the altercation. He then gave White and his girlfriend their bill and asked them to leave.
As White and his girlfriend were preparing to leave, Clark at some point exited the bar and confronted them in the parking lot. According to reports, Clark punched White and the two ended up tussling on the ground.
At that point, White stood up, pulled a gun, and shot Clark multiple times. Police records said Clark suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, stomach, back, and bicep.
Clark’s friends thought he had gone to the restroom and didn’t realize he had been shot in the parking lot until someone looked out a window, according to court records.
One of Clark’s friends ran outside, grabbed a gun from his truck, called 911 and kept his weapon trained on White until deputies arrived.
Despite receiving CPR from emergency responders and being transported to a nearby hospital, Clark died from the wounds.
Clark’s Killer Had a Gun and Was Drunk
As reported by local sources, White was heavily intoxicated during the entire incident. He was reportedly slurring his speech when law enforcement first arrived on the scene.
Even more, White said he had no memory of the fight or of the shooting. He told authorities that he’s a registered gun owner with a concealed-carry permit.
Further, White told authorities that he owns at least two handguns, and that he typically carries one of them at all times, including when he goes out to bars.
This isn’t the first time White has had legal troubles resulting from heavy drinking. Previously, he was convicted for a DUI.
Legendary Weed Smuggler Dead
Clark became something of a pop culture icon in 2014. That year, his life story was used as the inspiration for the movie “Kid Cannabis.”
As depicted in the movie, Clark and some of his friends started smuggling marijuana into the U.S. from British Columbia, Canada. They eventually found themselves running a relatively big-time operation reportedly worth several million dollars.
Clark was eventually arrested. Subsequently, in 2003, he was indicted on federal drug charges and went on to serve time in prison. Since his release, Clark has reportedly stayed away from the illegal marijuana market.
Since getting out of prison, Clark had changed his ways and tried to put his mistakes behind him, said Anton Hale, a friend.
“For as long as I’ve known him, he’s been a very happy, positive, joyful person,” Hale said.