Troopers say man shot in Noorvik after he brandished weapon, fired at houses

Lisa DemerAlaska Dispatch News

A man who had been firing his gun in the Northwest village of Noorvik was shot Friday afternoon by Alaska State Troopers after he stepped outside his residence and "brandished a firearm" toward officers, they said in a statement.

They identified the man as Jeffery Henry, 40, and said he suffered life-threatening injuries in the 4 p.m. shooting. Henry was being flown to Kotzebue for treatment, troopers said. On Friday evening, he was on his way to Anchorage in trooper custody, spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

The shooting by troopers ended a standoff that began the night before.

Troopers from Kotzebue arrived in Noorvik around 11:30 p.m. Thursday after hearing reports of a man firing a gun while walking around the village. Noorvik is a community of about 625 people 45 miles east of Kotzebue.

Some of the shots were fired toward homes, troopers said. No one besides Henry has been reported hurt.

A Noorvik resident, Edward "Chip" Hailstone, said Henry is a friend and was distraught about some family issues. He also was upset with troopers, Hailstone said. Henry and another man were drinking together Thursday; then Henry went to his home and began shooting, Hailstone said.

The friend said that unlike what troopers reported, he didn't think Henry was shooting as he walked from one side of town to the other, only after he got home.

Henry was alone in the house, though his mother, brother and brother's family live there, Hailstone said.

"I went over to his house and started talking to him. Knocked on his door, and he started shooting through the wall at me," Hailstone said.

Henry was yelling that he wanted to shoot troopers, Hailstone said.

"He wanted to kill a trooper and have a trooper kill him," Hailstone said. "That's what he repeated over and over and over again." At one point, his friend recounted, Henry said he wanted to shoot as many troopers as possible before he died.

Residents kept the streets clear until troopers got there, he said.

Troopers did not immediately respond to requests to discuss Hailstone's account.

By the time officers arrived, the man they identified as Henry was holed up in his home and still firing a gun, troopers said in a report. Troopers say witnesses told them he was intoxicated.

Members of a Special Emergency Response Team as well as a crisis negotiation team arrived in Noorvik early Friday. Troopers were awaiting tactical team and crisis negotiation reinforcements when the standoff ended, they said.

Henry had multiple guns, said Peters, the trooper spokeswoman.

Around 4 p.m., Henry stepped outside and directed one of his guns toward troopers, the trooper report said.

A warrant earlier on Friday was issued for Henry's arrest on charges of weapons misconduct, troopers said.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting by troopers, Peters said.

Henry has a record of trouble with alcohol.

In July 2011, troopers filed two felony charges of furnishing alcohol to minors against him. The case was dismissed because of a delay in transferring it from District Court to Superior Court in Kotzebue, according to an online record of the case. The charges were felonies because he had at least three prior convictions of furnishing alcohol to minors, troopers said in a 2011 report.

Reach Lisa Demer at or 257-4390.

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