AD Main Menu

'Reality TV' trooper identified in shooting of teenager who threatened suicide

Craig Medred

One of the Alaska State Troopers involved in the shooting death of a Palmer man on the Fourth of July is a star in the National Geographic reality-show "Alaska State Troopers: Dazed and Confused."

Troopers on Thursday said reality-show trooper Timothy Cronin of the Palmer Post, a trooper since February 2008, and trooper Matthew Determan of the Mat-Su West Post, a trooper since January 2010, were the men who shot 19-year-old Adrian T. Spindler to death after he pointed a gun at law enforcement officers.

Troopers and Wasilla Police Department officers had converged on a home along the Palmer-Wasilla Highway after Spindler was reported to be threatening suicide.

Two women were in the home when police arrived, according to trooper reports. The women were safely evacuated and negotiations were begun at about 12:45 a.m. "At about 1:45 a.m., Spindler came outside of the home and threatened troopers with a handgun," said a trooper press release issued shortly after the shooting. "At this time, two troopers fired at Spindler, shooting him. Medics who were staged nearby responded and declared Spindler dead on scene."

A trooper press release Thurday identified Cronin and Determan as the troopers who discharged their weapons. "Three other troopers and three Wasilla Police officers were on scene, but did not fire their weapons," the press release said. "The incident is still under investigation by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation. As part of the process, ABI conducts a thorough investigation."

When that is done, troopers said, the Alaska Department of Law's Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals (OSPA) will review the report form investigators and determine whether the shooting was legal. After that, the Alaska Department of Public Safety will review "the case to determine if the troopers' actions were appropriate under the circumstance, in accordance with department policy and they used every option to try to avoid using deadly force and prevent the final outcome," said a press release, which added that "no further information is available for the public at this time."

Spindler was reportedly having problems with a girlfriend before the holiday incident began.

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com