An Anchor Point man was convicted Tuesday on nine charges, including attempted murder, for shooting and wounding an Alaska state trooper in 2021.
Bret Herrick, now 62, was arrested the morning after he shot trooper Bruce Brueggeman outside The Warehouse general store in Anchor Point on Aug. 23, 2021.
Bruggeman had been called to the store to provide backup for another trooper, who was attempting to locate Herrick because he was wanted on four outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants, according to an affidavit signed by troopers Investigator Timothy Cronin.
Bruggeman arrived first and tried to arrest Herrick, but Herrick refused to stop and pulled out a handgun and began firing toward Bruggeman, the affidavit said. The incident was captured by surveillance video at the store and dash camera footage from the trooper patrol vehicle, the affidavit said.
Bruggeman was hit several times in his ballistic vest and in the left arm, the affidavit said. He fired back, but his gun malfunctioned, according to the affidavit.
Bruggeman was brought to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery, the affidavit said.
Herrick raised his gun at the second trooper who responded after Bruggeman was shot, the affidavit said. He then fled the scene, which prompted officials to warn the public to shelter in place as a manhunt took place. Troopers searched through the night before locating Herrick walking through the woods adjacent to his home with a loaded handgun the next morning, the affidavit said.
Herrick underwent a seven-day trial and was convicted Tuesday by a Homer jury on all original charges, including attempted murder, three counts of first-degree assault, third-degree assault, second-degree escape, resisting arrest and two charges of violation of conditions of release, the Alaska Department of Law wrote in a statement. The jury deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours before reaching a verdict, Assistant District Attorney Jon Iannaccone said Wednesday.
The convictions mean the public will be protected from Herrick, who has proven himself to be dangerous, Iannaccone said.
At the trial, Herrick said the trooper fired at him first and he was acting in self-defense when he shot Bruggeman, Iannaccone said. Public Defender Joy Hobart could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell in a statement thanked those involved in the investigation and prosecution for “their unwavering commitment to justice.”
“Since Trooper Brueggeman was shot, we have witnessed a remarkable outpouring of support from our community members has been truly humbling,” he said in the statement.
Herrick is scheduled for sentencing in November and faces between seven and 99 years in prison for the most serious offense, the attempted murder charge. He was in custody Wednesday at the Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai.