Two Alaska state troopers shot and killed on the line of duty this week are now having their deaths thoroughly investigated by the local police force. At least one of the victims made a special appearance on a recent TV show introducing viewers to the daily lives of Alaska officers and their various job requirements. ABC News reports this Friday, May 2, 2014, that details on the crime are still forthcoming, but it is known that a single suspected gunman is currently being detained.
A spokeswoman for the troopers confirmed that 2 Alaska state troopers were shot and subsequently killed during a routine investigation that took place in an isolated village known as Tanana. The identities of the officers have also been identified this Thursday — Trooper Gabriel “Gabe Rich, as well as Sergeant Patrick “Scott” Johnson.
While the spokeswoman noted that Johnson may have made a brief appearance on the television show, she did note that Rich was confirmed to have been a feature officer portrayed on the “Alaska State Troopers” National Geographic show. The popular show’s site added that these Alaska state troopers are truly "one of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation,” saying they are capable of "responding by land, air, and sea — with backup sometimes days away.”
Newser adds in a report today that little is known to the public about the violent shooting in Tanana at this point in time. A single suspect has been detained, and the remote village community is not often visited, usually leading people visiting the area to have to arrive via aircraft due to an overall lack of roadway accessibility.
It seems that the 2 Alaska state troopers shot and killed while on the line of duty arrived Wednesday night to the soon-to-be crime scene after alerts reached them of a suspect “brandishing a firearm in the village.” Though located much closer to Fairbanks, Alaska, the pair were the first to arrive on the scene.
The Alaska state governor has also been made aware of the tragic shootings, and offered a statement on the 2 officers' deaths shortly after the incident from he and his wife. He said that both men are nothing less than fallen heroes.
"[We] were deeply saddened to learn of the senseless, brutal crime that took the lives of two of Alaska's finest. These fallen heroes answered the call to serve and protect, and made the ultimate sacrifice, while keeping our communities safe."