ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Two Alaska State Troopers were shot in a remote town north of the Arctic Circle this morning and a standoff with an armed suspect continued into the afternoon, authorities said.
One of the troopers was wounded seriously and was flown from Kotzebue, which serves as a regional hub for Inupiat Eskimo villages, to Anchorage for treatment, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said.
City Attorney Joe Evans witnessed the shooting and said the incident began at about 9:15 a.m. as he was having breakfast with police Chief Craig Moates.
Moates took a call that there may have been shots fired from a man in a pickup truck toward a police officer in a patrol car and Evans accompanied the chief to where the pickup had crashed into a guardrail.
By that time, Evans said, three patrol cars had arrived carrying two Kotzebue Police Department officers and the two troopers. Evans and the chief observed from 75 to 100 yards away, expecting a quick resolution.
“When I arrived, I thought nothing else was going to happen,” Evans said.
With a Kotzebue officer driving a patrol car, at least two officers on foot approached the pickup. The officers on foot were shielded by the open front doors of the patrol car. Evans said there may have been two officers walking on the driver’s side plus one on the passenger side.
The patrol car drove about 1 mph, he said, and when it was about 15 yards from the pickup, shots rang out. A trooper behind the driver’s side door crumpled to the ground.
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