Crime & Courts

Man with AK-47 style rifle shot and killed by trooper outside Tok motel, authorities say

An Alaska state trooper shot and killed a 21-year-old man who was seen brandishing an AK-47 style rifle outside a Tok motel room early Monday, according to an online dispatch.

Guests at the motel called 911 around 2:35 a.m. to report a man trying to break into their room, troopers said. A Tok-based trooper responded to the area.

“Due to the adult male’s actions, the trooper shot the adult male with their handgun,” troopers wrote.

They identified the man who died as Timothy Thomas of Northway. He died at the scene and no one else was injured, according to troopers.

A spokesman for the troopers did not provide additional details Monday afternoon about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, including if Thomas knew the people at the motel or made threats to them or troopers before he was shot. The investigation is ongoing, troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded to the shooting and Thomas’ body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy, troopers said.

The trooper who shot Thomas was placed on administrative leave for 72 hours, per department policy, troopers said. The investigation will be independently reviewed by the Alaska Office of Special Prosecutions, they said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at