Crime & Courts

Ankle monitor leads authorities to man accused of murder in Wasilla shooting

The man accused of fatally shooting 32-year-old Derek Welsh in a Wasilla apartment complex parking lot wore an ankle monitor that authorities say connected him to the crime.

Nathan William Hooks, 25, is accused of firing a shotgun at least five times into Welsh’s car early the morning of April 4, according to a complaint filed with first- and second-degree murder charges.

Hooks was apparently angry that Welsh was communicating with his girlfriend, according to a sworn affidavit filed by troopers investigator Bret Ledford.

Hooks drove by Welsh’s parked vehicle and fired numerous shotgun blasts into the gray 2017 Ford Focus as Welsh sat in the driver’s seat, the affidavit states.

Welsh was still alive when someone who lived in the apartment complex heard the shots and came outside, according to the document. The man heard someone groaning inside the car while he called 911. He waved down a Wasilla police officer in the area.

The officer enacted “life saving measures” but Welsh was pronounced dead once medics arrived, the affidavit states.

Hooks was wearing an ankle monitor as part of his probation conditions for a prior incident in which he was accused of third-degree assault with a weapon, resisting arrest, evidence tampering and other charges. The monitor showed him at the scene of the shooting at the exact time it occurred, the affidavit states. Security camera footage, tire tracks and witnesses verified his movements.

Troopers tracked him to a Palmer address on April 5 and he cut off his ankle monitor the next day, according to the affidavit. A nearby trooper got a notification the monitor was cut and followed Hooks but lost him. He was subsequently arrested at a Lazy Mountain property.

Hooks was arraigned on Friday and remained jailed at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility on Monday.

Zaz Hollander

Longtime ADN reporter Zaz Hollander is based in the Mat-Su and is currently focused on coverage of the coronavirus in Alaska. She also covers the Mat-Su region, aviation and general assignments. Contact her at zhollander@adn.com.

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