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Fairbanks police: Suspect committed suicide during chase

Megan Edge

A domestic violence call turned into a police chase and then turned deadly Thursday morning in Fairbanks.

According to a Fairbanks Police Department press release, at 1:32 a.m. local police responded to a domestic violence call. The caller claimed she had been assaulted by 31-year-old Takory Stern but was able to briefly escape before he found her again.

When FPD arrived on scene, Stern fled in a Ford Taurus. City of Fairbanks spokesperson Amber Courtney said the chase only lasted approximately four minutes, during which Stern hit the median several times and lost the rubber from one of his tires, before "he slowed his vehicle almost to a stop" at the intersection of Airport Way and Lathrop Street. Courtney said when the vehicle came to a stop, the four officers who initially responded called the department's tactical team, which includes an additional 10 officers.

"When he disappeared from sight, because there was a handgun involved, the officers weren't sure if he was just hiding with his handgun," Courtney said. "He slid to the right out of view."

Courtney said it took "some time" for the tactical team to set up, but when they did, they discovered Stern had shot himself. The intersection was closed for four hours as they made contact, investigated and removed Stern and the vehicle from the scene. "Time just adds up," said Courtney.

According to online court records, Stern was currently in the midst of court proceedings for attempted murder and assault charges. According to the Associated Press, Stern was charged back in 2003 for shooting Lee Meckel, then 19, twice inside a Fairbanks apartment.

The March 23, 2003 story reports that the arrest came five months after the incident and that authorities extradited him from Arizona after he was questioned for being part of a stolen property ring in Phoenix.

Why Stern's attempted murder case is still open is unknown. Calls to the Fairbanks District Attorney's office weren't returned Thursday.

Stern was also charged in 2012 for allegedly punching an Alaska State Trooper. In that incident, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, troopers had tried to contact Stern because he matched the description of a man seen chasing a woman down Davis Street.

According to the Fairbanks story, the woman who was being chased claimed she had a domestic violence protective order against him.

But when AST officers attempted to make contact with Stern, he punched them and then fled. Police Tased him twice during the arrest.

According to online court records, the charges in the 2012 case were dropped.