The man who was shot dead by Bethel police officers Tuesday night has been identified as Sam Alexie Jr., age 24. He was allegedly pointing a rifle at officers before they shot him.
In a new written statement released today, Bethel police say they had received a call about a disturbance Tuesday night at about 11:30. They responded to the home at 188 East Avenue, and as they arrived, witnesses told them that Alexie was inside with a gun and there were still people in the house with him.
Officers were able to evacuate two people from the home, but as they were helping them out onto the porch steps, they were confronted by Alexie who was holding a rifle. Officers yelled at him to drop the gun, but he instead pointed it at them. One of the officers fired one round at Alexie who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have not released the name of the officer who fired the shot. Police Chief, Larry Elarton, says the officer will be off duty for at least three days per department policy.
While on the scene of the shooting, one of the officers fell and became unconscious. Police say the officer fell on the steps, hitting the back of his head. The steps were under construction and were wet from weather. After the fall, the officer told others he was fine, but he was later found unconscious and unresponsive in his patrol car. The officer was transported to the Bethel hospital by ambulance and was diagnosed with a severe concussion. Police say the fall was unrelated to the shooting.
Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Bureau of Investigation are assisting the police department in the investigation.