Bethel Police Officer Shoots Man During Altercation

by Ben Matheson on August 18, 2014

Investigators are looking into a shooting that happened Friday morning in Bethel. Photo by Daysha Eaton / KYUK.

Investigators are looking into a shooting that happened Friday morning in Bethel. Photo by Daysha Eaton / KYUK.

A 31-year-old Bethel man is recovering after being shot by a police officer during an altercation Friday. The man, Aaron Moses, was stabilized in Bethel and medevaced to Anchorage. One officer was also treated for minor injuries.

Interim City Manger Greg Moyer could not share any additional details Friday evening.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, we’re diligently looking into it as we speak,” said Moyer.

According to the Alaska State Troopers officers with the Bethel Police Department responded to a disturbance at about 10:35 a.m. on Friday morning. Upon arrival they came into contact with a man holding a baseball bat. Officers engaged in efforts to control the man, including the use of a taser, according to Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

“It resulted in a struggle in which one of the officers was struck by the baseball bat. One of the officers was able to draw his firearm,” said Peters.

A video of the incident provided to KYUK indicates a shot fired while one officer was set back, another officer was on the ground, and Moses was standing close with the baseball bat raised. Troopers say he was shot in the abdomen. Moyer says the two officers were placed on administrative leave as per policy.

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A witness, Ryan White, says he saw Moses walking outside Friday morning with a baseball bat. He says Moses ran toward the police with the bat at one point, then stepped back for a moment.

“I’m not really sure if he was trying to run past them or not, and they tried tasing him, twice, both cops used their tasers on them,” said White.

After that, White says one of the police officers shot him. The police then ran to Moses and handcuffed him.

Alaska State Troopers are investigating after they were contacted by the Bethel Police Department. Members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation arrived Friday and secured the scene and began investigating. Bethel Police have not commented on the incident. When reached by KYUK, State Troopers declined to share any more information.

A family member confirms that Moses is stable and being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at the Alaska Native Medical Center Monday.

Daysha Eaton and Shane Iverson also contributed to this story.

Yup’ik version here.

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