Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Trooper Chaffin had taken Rael-Catholic into custody prior to the struggle. Rael-Catholic had not, in fact, been placed under arrest prior to the struggle with Trooper Chaffin. We apologize for the error and any inconvenience it may have caused.
The name of the trooper involved in the death of a Homer man has been released.
The trooper in question was David G Chaffin, a 5 year AST veteran stationed at Anchor Point Post.
Chaffin responded to a call of a domestic assault in progress on the night of April 2. Upon arrival, Chaffin found that Aaron Michael Rael-Catholic of Homer had rammed his vehicle into another vehicle that held the woman who initially contacted troopers and was attempting to flee. Rael-Catholic exited his vehicle, and Chaffin attempted to arrest him, using both pepper spray and a taser in the struggle that ensued.
At some point during the struggle, Rael-Catholic managed to wrest free Chaffin’s fire arm and fatally shot himself. Troopers say a review is being conducted of the actions leading up to the shooting. An autopsy by the State Medical Examiner’s Office revealed the cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the head, and a witness on scene confirmed with troopers that Rael-Catholic was observed to have shot himself.
Chaffin was uninjured during the struggle. The unnamed female victim was transported to a local hospital for evaluation following the incident.