UPDATE: Officer responsible for shooting, killing standoff suspect identified

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Troopers have released the identity of the officer responsible for shooting and killing the man they say was involved in a standoff and hostage situation on Thursday and into early Friday morning.

In a statement released by AST dispatch, troopers say Lieutenant James Helgoe, an officer with the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT).

Troopers say he was the one responsible for firing his service weapon in the officer involved shooting that left Jean Valescot, 35, dead.

Troopers say Helgoe worked for over 17 years with the Department of Public Safety (DPS). It is unclear how long he has worked in the field.


One man is dead in Big Lake following a hostage standoff with Alaska State Troopers and special response teams.

Troopers confirmed Friday that Jean Valescot, 35, was shot and killed by a member of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) just after midnight on Friday.

The tense standoff began on Thursday at around 3:30 p.m. when a man, now confirmed to be Valescot, called 911 making “threatening statements,” including the fact that he was armed, and intended to kill anyone who came to his house, troopers said.

AST says a woman was heard on that call, screaming for help and saying there was a 2 or 3-year-old child in the house. Immediately following the call, troopers responded to the scene along with SERT, and began handling the situation as a standoff. Troopers say the negotiations began “and continued for many hours.”

At some point, the woman on the phone, now confirmed to be Valescot’s girlfriend, was able to get out of the house safely. However Valescot kept their 3-year-old son, which she referenced on the 911 call, inside with him.

Troopers say that during the late-night hostage situation, both search and arrest warrants were obtained for Valescot and his home. After this, authorities opened his front door to better establish communications and try to progress the negotiation process.

The incident reached a boiling point just after midnight when Valescot emerged into view with his son. He was reportedly holding a shotgun in one hand, and a pistol in the other. In the press release issued by troopers, they say he “placed the child in imminent danger.” That’s when an unidentified SERT member opened fire, shooting Valescot.

Troopers say attempts were made to save Valescot’s life after he was shot, however he died at the residence shortly after. The girlfriend and son were safe and not injured in the standoff.

Members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation remains on the scene. Authorities say the identity of the officers involved in the shooting will not be released for 72 hours, “per department policy.”

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details.