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Crime & Courts

Armed man who ‘confronted’ Fairbanks officers shot dead, police say

An armed man opened fire on Fairbanks police and was shot and killed when four officers shot back at him early Monday morning, according to a police spokeswoman.

Public information officer Yumi McCulloch said the suspect died at the scene in a non-residential area of south Fairbanks after the incident.

The initial call about the gunman, identified in a Monday night statement as 21-year-old Matthew Colton Stover, came in around 3 a.m. The caller told police a man wearing a mask was behind a Denny's restaurant with a long gun, McCulloch said.

The man had left before officers arrived, but police continued to search the area with Alaska State Troopers, McCulloch said.

While they were searching a second call came in from a Fairbanks Correctional employee who reported that there was a man with a long gun behind the prison, police said.

Law enforcement located the man in a vehicle and set up a perimeter at the city's snow dump next to the Big Dipper Ice Arena, a medical center and the prison, McCulloch said.

"The suspect rapidly exited the vehicle and advanced toward the officers while firing at them," McCulloch said. "The officers returned fire."

No officers were injured during the exchange of gunfire, she said.

Stover died at the scene. His family has been told about his death, police said.

The scene of the shooting appeared to have "some hazards," and out of concern for the public, Fort Wainwright's explosives team was called in to help at the secured location. The medical center and other nearby businesses were cleared out or placed into lockdown during their response, she said.

It took several hours for the explosives team to process the scene, allowing detectives to continue their work and businesses open back up. McCulloch declined to further detail what the hazards were that shut down the processing of the shooting scene.

The four officers who fired on the man will be placed on administrative leave and identified after 72 hours, McCulloch said.

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