Man in shootout with trooper killed himself, investigators say

Casey Grove

An autopsy showed that a self-inflicted gunshot killed an Anchorage man shortly after a shootout with an Alaska state trooper east of Wasilla on Saturday, troopers say.

In a written statement Tuesday, the agency said Palmer-based Trooper Andrew Ballesteros, a nine-year veteran, returned fire when Nicholas Leo Frazier pulled a gun and shot at Ballesteros during a traffic stop about 4:10 a.m. on Trunk Road. Both were hit, but neither man's wounds in the initial gunfight were life-threatening, troopers said. Frazier allegedly stole the trooper's patrol car, and a Palmer police officer found the 22-year-old dead inside it about a mile away.

The troopers refuse to say specifically what initiated the traffic stop, how many times Frazier fired or hit Ballesteros, or how many shots were fired in total. The trooper's injuries were described Saturday as "superficial" wounds to the face and head.

According to the statement, troopers attended Frazier's autopsy and learned that Ballesteros shot Frazier twice.

"Frazier also received two additional gunshot wounds while seated inside the patrol vehicle after fleeing from the initial scene," the statement says. "These additional gunshot wounds appear to be self-inflicted, at least one of which was fatal."

The troopers on Tuesday would not answer further questions about the shooting. Investigators continue to analyze the incident, a spokeswoman said.


Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.