Official: 2 Alaska State Troopers killed in Tanana


Associated Press

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Updated Thursday, May 1 at 10:03 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Authorities have released the identities of the two Alaska State Troopers who were shot and killed while they were conducting an investigation in the Interior Alaska community of Tanana on Thursday.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters identified the victims as Sgt. Patrick "Scott" Johnson and Trooper Gabriel "Gabe" Rich, both of the troopers rural unit operating out of Fairbanks.

Authorities are releasing few details. Peters does say one person has been detained.

Peters says the troopers were following up on a Wednesday night report that someone had brandished a gun in the village.

Tanana is located about 130 miles west of Fairbanks.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Two Alaska State Troopers were killed Thursday while conducting an investigation in the Interior Alaska village of Tanana, agency spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

One person has been detained, she said.

The troopers had gone to Tanana, west of Fairbanks, to follow up on a Wednesday night report that someone "had brandished a firearm in the village," Peters said, adding she had no immediate details of what happened.

Shots were fired somewhere in the town at about 3 p.m. Thursday, Tanana resident Mary Edwin told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Other troopers had responded to Tanana by 6 p.m., said Edwin, a former schools superintendent.

An Alaska Bureau of Investigation crew was headed to Tanana, Peters said.

The troopers were not immediately identified pending notification of relatives.

Tanana has a population of about 238 people and is located about 130 miles west of Fairbanks. There is no highway leading to the community.

Because of its location two miles west of the junction of the Tanana and Yukon rivers, the community was a trading post for Koyukon and Tanana Athabascans long before European contact, according to a state website.

Community members continue to live a traditional Athabascan lifestyle, including hunting and fishing for their food.