A 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with shooting and killing his 2-year-old son in the Western Alaska village of Tununak.
The man, Edward Moses, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his son, Kyle Moses, which was reported to the Alaska State Troopers early Friday morning.
In an affidavit filed with the charges in state court in Bethel on Saturday, a state trooper said Moses entered a home in the village where the child was staying with his mother Thursday night. Moses later shot the child in the head, and told troopers afterward he was upset with his child's mother for being with another man, troopers said.
Moses appeared in court in Bethel on Saturday morning, and was held there with bail set at $500,000.
According to the affidavit, when Moses entered the home in Tununak, he "was carrying a shotgun and a bucket which (a witness) believed to have homebrew in it."
He told everyone to exit the house except for his son, and ordered them to leave their cellphones behind, the affidavit said.
When one of the women in the home didn't immediately comply, "Edward racked his shotgun, chambered a round, and then pointed the shotgun" at her. She dropped her phone and left for a neighbor's house, she told troopers.
An aunt of the child told troopers Moses called her later Thursday night demanding to speak with the child's mother, according to the affidavit. Moses gave the aunt 15 minutes to find the child's mother, the trooper wrote, or he would kill the child, then himself.
As the 15 minutes neared, Moses called back, and Moses could be heard telling the child to say goodbye to his aunt, the trooper affidavit said. The aunt then heard a gunshot over the phone, the trooper said in the court filing.
When troopers arrived in the village Friday, Moses was barricaded inside his father's house and surrendered after several hours of negotiations, troopers said.
He told the officers he had shot the child, and said he was "upset at (the child's mother) for being with another man and didn't think she should be burdened with their son," the trooper's affidavit said.
Troopers said the child's body was found down the beach from the Moses house, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
Tununak, a village of about 325 people, is on Nelson Island on the Bering Sea coast west of Bethel.
The village public safety officer, Carl Inakak, found the child's body Friday afternoon on the beach, the officer's wife, Tracy Inakak, said in a phone interview Friday night. The child is their 2-year-old nephew, she said.
Moses is being represented by a public defender, and a preliminary hearing in his case is set for Sept. 24 in Bethel. He is charged with first-degree robbery in addition to murder.
A startlingly close-up view of the tragedy unfolded on Facebook on a page that appears to belong to Edward Moses.
All week, Moses displayed his emotions on the page. On Monday, he wrote that he and the child's mother had broken up. The two had been off and on, Tracy Inakak said. Kyle lived with his mother.
"Been that way for a couple weeks now," Edward Moses wrote. "Just because we tag each other doesn't mean we're back."
Then sometime after 9 a.m. Friday, he wrote: "I should never be forgiven," without saying what he'd done.
That was the first of many posts Friday in which Moses wrote about doing something that "could never be fixed." No one commented on that initially. But his next post brought out those close to him.
"I think today is the last day of my life," he wrote just minutes later. "I lived a bad one ..."
A friend immediately jumped in to calm him down. "Everybody makes mistakes man."
"The one i made... Theres no going back...," Moses responded, using the casual grammar common on Facebook.
At 12:42 p.m., he wrote "Rest in peace my little son. Kyle felton inakak moses... I love you. Say hi to my mom while your up there."
At that, a couple of relatives urged him to call them.
Moses has been in trouble before.
In January 2005, days after he turned 16, he was charged with underage drinking in a case filed in Anchorage. He pleaded no contest.
In August 2007, Moses, then 18, and another teenager were drunk and went through the village firing a shotgun and pointing it at villagers, according to a news report from the time. Residents were told over VHF radio to stay inside. The two men ended up charged with multiple counts including robbery, felony assault, weapons misconduct, burglary and theft though most were dismissed, according to a database of court records. This year, he was brought back to Bethel Superior Court on an accusation of violating his probation.
Reach Lisa Demer at firstname.lastname@example.org, Reporter Zaz Hollander contributed to this report.
By LISA DEMER and NATHANIEL HERZ
Anchorage Daily News