Alaska State Troopers identify Justin Lloyd Abrahamson as the suspect who was shot and killed Friday morning on the Glenn Highway after a vehicle pursuit started in Wasilla.
Troopers say at about 4 a.m. the suspect, in a 1994 Saturn Coupe, apparently failed to signal a right turn onto the Parks Highway. Abrahamson did not pull over when the Trooper tried to stop him, and a 20-minute chase, that stretched over a distance of 30 miles, began.
The length and duration of the chase imply an average speed of 90 miles an hour, but when asked, Troopers said they are investigating and could not confirm the speed of the chase.
Spike strips were set up prior to the Trunk Road turnoff on the Parks Highway, and deflated a tire, but Troopers said the vehicle continued driving southbound onto the Glenn Highway.
Ultimately, the car scraped and sparked along the roadway until it caught fire near the Thunderbird Falls exit.
Abrahamson jumped out, and Troopers say he was carrying a baseball bat. He then ran toward the Northbound lanes of the highway.
Troopers tried to arrest him, but Abrahamson would not surrender. They tried to use a Taser on the man, but were not able to subdue him. Troopers say the man stopped running and advanced at three Troopers with the raised bat.
"At one point he ultimately attacked the Troopers on-scene with the bat. He was shot and killed," said Col. Keith Mallard, Director of the Alaska State Troopers.
The shooting happened at about 4:20 a.m.
Mallard said that whenever a Trooper is involved in a deadly force incident, the Trooper is placed on leave while the matter is investigated.
This is the sixth time this year that Alaska State Troopers have fired on a suspect. It was the first time this year that such a shooting incident resulted in a fatality. No troopers were hurt in today's incident.
So far this year, none of the shooting incidents has ended in any criminal charges being leveled at Troopers.
The incident led to major rush-hour delays for commuters, as Troopers blocked off both lanes of the highway -- southbound due to the burned vehicle, and northbound due to the shooting.
"We're losing time from work, but I'm sure that everybody on the road is, you know, having the same situation," said commuter Chad Mills.
"I sat on the Knik River Bridge for, I would say almost an hour. It's really been very, very slow," said another commuter, Kay Vashal.
The southbound lanes were rerouted to handle traffic in both directions and all traffic headed north was escorted via pilot cars.
Troopers say the traffic situation was "slow-going" for the next couple of hours and the Anchorage Police Department was on scene to assist traffic control.
APD Public Info announced that all lanes on the Glenn Highway were reopened just after 12:30 p.m. Friday.
KTUU's Corey Allen-Young, Amberia Hill, Neil Torquiano, Kortnie Horazdovsky, and Jeff Rivet contributed to this story.
Full Alaska State Troopers dispatch:
"Location: Glenn Highway
Case Number: AK 12225200
Type: Trooper-involved shooting
Text: On 8/3/12 at approximately 0401 hours, Alaska State Troopers attempted
to stop a 1994 Saturn Coupe at Lucille Street and the Parks Highway. The
vehicle was observed failing to signal as it made a right hand turn onto the
Parks Highway. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit ensued heading
southbound on the Parks Highway. Prior to passing the Trunk Road turnoff,
spike strips were deployed and managed to deflate a tire. However, the vehicle
continued driving southbound onto the Glenn Highway. As the vehicle neared
milepost 25, the vehicle caught on fire and stopped in the southbound lane.
The driver and sole occupant, a male, exited the vehicle and started running
toward the northbound lane. Attempts to subdue the individual, including use
of a Taser, were unsuccessful. The man then stopped running and advanced on
three troopers with a raised bat. At that time, a trooper fired and shot
the man with his duty weapon at approximately 0420. The man was declared
deceased on scene. Alaska State Troopers were assisted by officers from the
Anchorage and Wasilla police departments to include a WPD canine. No officers
or troopers were injured in the incident. The southbound and northbound
lanes of the Glenn Highway were closed until the scene could be secured.
APD took responsibility for traffic control and began a pilot car system
to route vehicles through the two southbound lanes to allow traffic to
move in both directions. Traffic was backed up to the interchange of the
Glenn and Parks highways. The northbound will remain closed for several
hours until the on-scene investigation is complete.
The name of the trooper will be released in 72 hours per department policy.
The Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded and assumed case responsibility.
Anyone witnessing either the pursuit or incident that has not been already
contact by law enforcement is asked to call ABI in Palmer at (907)745-2131.
Received Friday, August 03, 2012 10:03 AM and posted Friday, August 03, 2012 10:03 AM"