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Crime & Courts

Man in tent at Denali National Park kills himself as authorities approach

PALMER -- A man who pitched a tent near the Alaska Railroad tracks at Denali National Park and Preserve killed himself on Sunday, authorities say.

National Park Service rangers approached the tent around 5:45 p.m. because it wasn’t in a campground and was close to the tracks, park spokeswoman Miriam Valentine said. As they approached, they briefly saw the man through the tent screen before they heard a single gunshot.

The man did not respond to calls and couldn’t be seen after the gun was fired, park officials said. Alaska State Troopers, the park service Investigative Services Branch, and negotiation services from the FBI set up a perimeter and approached the tent with an armored vehicle.

At 9:46 p.m. the man was reached and found dead, officials said. It was determined that he had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The railroad delayed a train coming to the depot by about 3 1/2 hours, a railroad spokesman said. Twelve buses waiting to take passengers to lodges were also held up at the depot.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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