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Crime & Courts

Wasilla police shoot and kill man after domestic disturbance call in Palmer

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: January 23, 2020
  • Published January 23, 2020

Wasilla police shot and killed a man holding a shotgun after a brief car chase early Thursday morning in Palmer, according to law enforcement officials.

Around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, troopers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at a home in the Equestrian Acres neighborhood of Palmer. When troopers arrived, a woman with injuries described as not life-threatening left the home with two children and told officers that Gage Southard, 26, of Palmer, was armed with a shotgun inside the garage, according to a report posted online.

Southard then drove away in his Dodge Journey SUV and Wasilla police responded, intercepting him on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway, according to troopers. Police and troopers unsuccessfully tried to stop Southard, and “a short traffic pursuit” ensued near the MTA Sports Center, Wasilla police said in a statement.

Southard drove into a ditch in a nearby neighborhood and got out of his SUV with the shotgun, according to troopers. Around 2:50 a.m., Wasilla police fired on Southard, injuring him. Troopers said they arrived shortly after the shooting, and law enforcement officers performed “life-saving measures” on Southard, who was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

He died at the hospital, and his next of kin have been notified, according to troopers.

Southard was an airman assigned to the 673rd Communications Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to a statement from the base.

“The loss of Tech. Sgt. Southard is devastating. My deepest condolences and prayers are with Tech. Sgt. Southard’s wife and family, and his fellow Airmen,” Col. Patricia Csànk said in the statement. “This is a tragedy for our entire team.”

The Wasilla police officer or officers involved in the shooting will be identified after 72 hours. The troopers’ General Investigative Unit, assisted by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, is investigating the incident.