Former East High football star killed by police in California

Anchorage Daily NewsFebruary 23, 2012 

East defensive lineman Frank Tanuvasa gets a hand up on Nathan Oliver's punt on Aug. 18, 2007.


A former East High football star with aspirations of playing Division I college football next fall was shot and killed by police early Thursday in Palm Desert, Calif., according to the Desert Sun newspaper.

Frank Tanuvasa, 20, was a sophomore at the College of the Desert, a junior college where Tanuvasa was an offensive guard on the football team. At 6-foot-6 and 370 pounds, he was one of the biggest players to come out of Alaska and was a Division I prospect for next season.

According to the Desert Sun report, sheriff's department investigators say Tanuvasa was believed to be involved in a late-night burglary at an apartment complex. He was one of three people seen running from the complex, a sheriff's department spokesman told the newspaper.

The spokesman said Tanuvasa was shot as he fought with a deputy but would not say if Tanuvasa was armed or believed to be armed.

The two other men spotted running with Tanuvasa were not apprehended, the spokesman said.

Tanuvasa was a 2009 East High graduate who was a second-team all-Alaska football selection during his season year.

"He was one of the biggest players I've ever seen up here," said East football coach Jeff Trotter, who was an assistant coach at South when Tanuvasa played at East. "He was real cordial."

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service