Alaska State Troopers say the standoff between a suspect of a shooting that injured two troopers has ended. At about 6 p.m., Troopers say they approached the vehicle and found Arvid Nelson, Jr. Of Kotzebue, dead inside from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Two Alaska State Troopers were injured in Kotzebue Sunday during a shooting that led to a subsequent standoff.
AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen says troopers received a request for assistance from Kotzebue police, who were dealing with a male suspect barricaded in his vehicle, at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday. An initial report said the vehicle's driver had brandished a weapon at a passing driver.
"Kotzebue troopers responded to back up the KPD officer and were immediately shot at from the vehicle by the suspect," troopers wrote in a Sunday dispatch. "The officer returned fire. Two troopers were struck during the exchange of weapon fire. It is unknown if the suspect was struck."
One trooper was wounded in the lower body and flown to Anchorage for treatment. Another trooper who received head injuries during the confrontation was treated at the Kotzebue clinic and released. Ipsen was unsure whether the head injuries were produced by shrapnel or a gunshot wound, but called both injuries non-life-threatening.
Kotzebue City Attorney Joe Evans said he was eating breakfast with the local police chief, Craig Moates, when Moates got a call that shots had been fired from a pickup truck at an officer in a police car who was uninjured. They went to the scene, where the truck had struck a guardrail on Ted Stevens Way.
"The chief was trying to see if we could get it resolved peacefully without any further shots," Evans said. "And as the (troopers) approached the truck after it had crashed into the barrier, the individual in the truck fired several more shots at the (troopers) as they approached, and that's when the two troopers were wounded."
Additional troopers from the Southcentral Special Emergency Response Team were flown to Kotzebue to help deal with the incident. The suspect remained in the vehicle Sunday afternoon; Ipsen advised locals to avoid the area, but said the public was not in danger.
The standoff occurred near the end of the active runway at the Kotzebue airport, which remained shut down to all but emergency traffic.
Kotzebue, population 3,224, is a coastal community in northwest Alaska.
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and watch the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.
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