Wasilla man in custody after holding troopers at bay with slingshot, pellet gun

Zaz Hollander

WASILLA -- A 42-year-old man fired a slingshot at Alaska State Troopers responding to a report of gunshot victims near Wasilla but eventually came out of his house without incident early Tuesday morning, troopers said.

Troopers responded to a report just after 10 p.m. of multiple gunshots and victims down at an address on North Tanana Drive, off Bogard Road. The caller did not provide identification, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

It was later determined that no one was injured and the only person in the house was Jose A. Pacheco, troopers said. The incident resolved peacefully after several hours of standoff and negotiation, they said.

At least a half-dozen troopers arrived at the house, according to a sworn troopers affidavit filed with charging documents at the Palmer courthouse.

Trooper David Frebel Jr. set up 100 feet away, using a neighbor's home as cover, Frebel wrote in the affidavit. Several hours later, at about 1 a.m., Frebel said he heard what sounded like several gunshots coming from the home with Pacheco in it.

"I was unsure exactly where these shots were coming from inside the residence and thought they were coming in my direction," he wrote. Another trooper traced the shots to a side window.

After several shots, Pacheco broke out a window and "started shooting at troopers with what was originally reported over the radio as a handgun, later determined to be a slingshot," Frebel wrote. Troopers in an online dispatch also said a pellet rifle and compound bow were shot at them.

Pacheco came out of the house through the front door at 1:30 a.m., according to the affidavit. He was taken into custody.

The slingshot, a pellet rifle and two bows were found during an immediate search of the house after Pacheco emerged, the affidavit said. One of the bows was described as a Bear Archery compound bow "capable of hunting and killing game animals," it said. "All weapons were readily accessible to Pacheco."

Six troopers told Frebel they were in fear of being shot by Pacheco, the trooper wrote. Such statements can provide a basis for criminal third-degree assault charges in Alaska.

Pacheco was charged with seven felony counts of third-degree assault on law enforcement officers and taken to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. His bail was set at $500,000. He was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

Pacheco has several other criminal charges on his record, including driving under the influence convictions in Fairbanks in 2007 and Palmer in 2010 and a fourth-degree assault conviction in Palmer in 2009.

In a case later dismissed by prosecutors, he was also initially charged with second-degree robbery after reportedly attempting a holdup at a Parks Highway Chevron station in Wasilla despite his unarmed status.

Charging documents in that case say that Pacheco told a cashier "this is a stickup" and then repeated himself after an acquaintance said hello to him. The cashier, confused, asked where his gun was and Pacheco said he didn't have one but "he knew how to 'blow the place up,' " according to a sworn affidavit filed in the case by Wasilla police officer Bobby Rader. The cashier locked up the register and walked outside.

Police later found Pacheco walking along the highway and arrested him, the affidavit said. The felony charge against him was dismissed about a week later, according to a state records database.

Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.