Crime & Courts

Soldier fatally shot at Fairbanks bar was not involved in fight before shooting, charges say

Authorities say a man shot and killed Saturday during a fight outside a bar in Fairbanks was a soldier stationed at Fort Wainwright who did not appear to be involved in the altercation.

The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. Saturday at the Big International Bar, locally known as the Big I. The Fairbanks Police Department said the man who fired the fatal shot — 21-year-old Shamar Rashied Terrill Snipes — was arrested on first-degree assault charges Saturday.

That charge was amended Monday to second-degree murder, according to a state courts database.

Another man, 27-year-old Sharif Makkar, was arrested on weapons misconduct and other charges, according to a police update late Sunday.

U.S. Army Alaska officials on Monday identified the man who was shot Saturday as 28-year-old 1st Lt. Brandon Keyon Moultrie of Columbia, South Carolina, a soldier at Fort Wainwright. They described him as a bystander during the shooting.

Moultrie, who was shot in the head, was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and died Sunday, police said.

Snipes told detectives that Makkar “started to cause issues in the bar” and then started a fight with someone after they went outside, according to a criminal complaint filed with charges against him. Snipes pulled out a gun and fired six shots after someone punched Makkar, knocking him to the ground, it said.


Surveillance footage showed Makkar approaching a vehicle occupied by two people, neither of them Moultrie, and punching the passenger, according to a sworn probable cause statement filed by police Sgt. Caleb Reuter on Sunday with the complaint against Makkar.

The driver got out and punched Makkar, knocking him down, according to the statement. Shamar can be seen firing multiple shots in the general direction of the driver and Makkar, it said.

Moultrie was standing near Shamar but “did not appear to be involved and had only walked up to the group within the last minute,” Reuter wrote. Moultrie started running after the first shots were fired but Snipes turned in his direction and fired a shot, and he fell to the ground, the statement said.

Snipes and Makkar left the area and then quickly came back to the parking lot, where Makkar fired several shots in the direction of people in the lot, it said.

Makkar is facing charges of weapons misconduct, third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Both men were in custody at Fairbanks Correctional Center as of Monday.

Moultrie, a logistical platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, entered the Army as an enlisted soldier in July 2013 and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School in 2022, according to a statement from U.S. Army Alaska.

He arrived in Alaska in May 2023 after serving at Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Fort Stewart, Georgia, the statement said.

Moultrie was recognized by Fort Wainwright officials last week for his volunteer work in the community.

Col. Derek Smith, commander of the 16th Aviation Brigade, in the statement called Moultrie a “cherished member” of the battalion.

“His passing is a profound loss to our community and all those that knew him and he will be dearly missed,” Smith said. “Our hearts go out to the Moultrie family during this incredibly difficult time, and we are committed to providing all the care and support available to his family and friends.”

Moultrie’s awards and decorations included the Army Commendation Medal, three awards of the Army Achievement Medal, three awards of the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge, according to U.S. Army Alaska. He earned a bachelor’s and a Master of Science degree from Troy University in Alabama.