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Homer man fatally shoots himself with Alaska State Trooper's gun

A Homer man appears to have fatally shot himself with an Alaska State Trooper's gun Wednesday night following a struggle.

According to a trooper dispatch posted Thursday morning, troopers responded to a complaint that a woman had been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend in the East End Road area near Homer at around 8:17 p.m.

While the woman was able to leave the residence in a private vehicle, the assailant, later identified as 24-year-old Aaron Michael Rael-Catholic rammed his vehicle into the woman's car at about Mile 4 East End Road.

As a trooper responded to the scene, Rael-Catholic got out of his vehicle, and a fight ensued between Rael-Catholic and the officer. The trooper attempted to arrest Rael-Catholic using pepper spray and a Taser, though during that attempt the "trooper and the suspect ended up wrestling on the ground," according to the dispatch.

In that struggle Rael-Catholic managed to "obtain possession of the trooper's pistol and fatally shot himself," according to the dispatch. The trooper was uninjured.

Citing the ongoing investigation, few other details were available Thursday morning according to Trooper Spokeswoman Megan Peters, who did not know where Rael-Catholic had been shot. The trooper, whose name will be withheld until 72 hours after the shooting per department policy, was the only officer on scene at the time of the shooting.

According to the dispatch, the woman assaulted was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. The investigation regarding the initial domestic violence assault, the motor vehicle collision and the subsequent death of the assailant is being led by the Alaska State Trooper Alaska Bureau of Investigation.

According to court records, in December 2013, Rael-Catholic pled guilty to fourth-degree assault. Part of the sentence included an order not to contact his victim without her written consent.

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