Crime & Courts

Officers kill driver in Fairbanks after he pointed gun at passenger, troopers say

An Anchorage man was fatally shot by law enforcement in Fairbanks Monday morning after he fled from officers for roughly 15 minutes and eventually pointed a gun at a passenger in the car he was driving, Alaska State Troopers said. The passenger and a trooper were also shot and injured during the incident, troopers said.

Law enforcement first encountered the vehicle involved just before 3 a.m. on Sunday, when troopers tried to stop a 2011 Ford sedan that was driving erratically near the Mitchell Expressway and Airport Way, troopers wrote in a statement. The sedan did not stop and officers followed the vehicle until the pursuit became unsafe, the statement said.

Troopers again tried to stop the vehicle Monday around 9 a.m. near Peger Road and Phillips Field Road, but the car fled the area, authorities said. For about 15 minutes, troopers and Fairbanks police officers pursued the vehicle, the statement said.

Troopers then used a PIT maneuver to stop the car near Cushman Street and 23rd Avenue, the statement said. The maneuver involves an officer hitting a car with their own vehicle to turn it, forcing it to stop.

Once the car stopped, officers blocked it, troopers said. The driver, 57-year-old Amos Lane, then pointed a handgun at a woman who was in the car with him, according to troopers.

“The driver failed to follow the commands of law enforcement officers on the scene, and due to his actions, multiple law enforcement officers from the Alaska State Troopers and Fairbanks Police Department fired their duty weapons at the driver, fatally wounding him,” the statement said.

The woman was injured by gunfire and brought to a nearby hospital, troopers said. Her injuries were not life-threatening and troopers said she was the only passenger in the car.

According to troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel, the woman is still being treated at a Fairbanks-area hospital. Her relationship to Lane is still under investigation, McDaniel said.

A trooper assigned to the Fairbanks area was also shot, the statement said. The trooper was treated at a hospital and had been released by Monday afternoon, according to authorities.

Officials did not immediately respond to questions about whether the trooper and the woman were wounded by officer gunfire or if Lane had fired at them. They also did not answer questions about how many officers fired at Lane.

All of the law enforcement officers that discharged their weapons have been placed on administrative leave for 72 hours in accordance with Fairbanks Police Department and Alaska State Troopers policy, according to McDaniel.

An autopsy will be conducted on Lane, troopers said.

An investigation is ongoing and will be reviewed by the Office of Special Prosecutions once it is complete. Troopers said the officers who fired their guns will be identified in three days, per department policy.

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Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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