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Noorvik resident recounts trooper standoff

Alaska Dispatch

Noorvik resident Jeffery Henry, the 40-year-old man who allegedly brandished his gun at Alaska State Troopers and was subsequently shot, was released from an Anchorage hospital Friday and is now in jail.

Henry was released from the Alaska Native Medical Center Friday afternoon, eight days after the shooting. He was taken to the city’s jail, where he was being held without bail, according to troopers.

The alleged rabble rouser frightened village residents when he went on a reportedly drunken tromp through town.

A Noorvik resident was resting in bed in late October when she got a frightening call from her niece.

Her niece told her there “was a drunk walking around with a gun and to lock my door,” said the Noorvik resident, who asked that her identity not be used.

She locked her door and received a text from a second niece telling her the village was on lockdown and to “be aware.”

At around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24 Kotzebue-based troopers responded to Noorvik, a northwestern Alaska village of 626 residents.

They had received a report of a man, later identified as Henry, discharging a firearm while walking around the village, according to a trooper dispatch.

Some of the shots were apparently directed toward homes in the village, but no injuries were reported. When troopers arrived in Noorvik, the man was back at his home and continued to shoot his gun inside. State Emergency Response Team members from Fairbanks, as well as a Crisis Negotiator Team responded early the next morning to assist.

According to the resident, Henry had been on a marine radio signal on the morning of Oct. 24 talking about people who had stolen his family’s land up north. Henry also said over the radio, according to residents, that he didn’t care if “people got hurt.”

The resident called a relative who could see Henry’s house and described a “SWAT team” around the residence, with a couple of officers in her shed.

At around 4 p.m. on Oct. 25, Henry exited his home and “brandished a firearm and directed it toward troopers,” the dispatch said. “The Alaska State Troopers fired upon him.”

Eight-year veteran Joshua Rallo of the Fairbanks Patrol Unit was the trooper involved in the shooting.

“Jeff (is) a grandson who was adopted to his grandma who he helped out all his life,” said the resident of Noorvik.

Henry is being charged with felony assault and weapons misconduct.

The incident is still under investigation by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation. The Alaska Department of Law’s Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals will review that investigation to determine if the trooper acted within the law, said troopers.

The Department of Public Safety then reviews the case to determine if the trooper’s actions were appropriate under the circumstances.

“The review also determines if the trooper used every reasonable option to try to avoid using deadly force and the final outcome of the incident,” the dispatch said.