Rural Alaska

Man dies in weekend Utqiaġvik shooting

A 29-year-old man died of a gunshot wound earlier this week in Utqiaġvik, North Slope Borough officials said Wednesday, as many details of the shooting remain unclear.

Just after 2:30 a.m. Sunday, North Slope Borough Emergency Dispatch received a report of someone with a gunshot wound at a residence on Sakeagak Street in Utqiaġvik, close to Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital, according to a statement from the borough mayor’s office.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene and found Toetasi Fosi injured, the borough mayor’s office said. Fosi was taken to the hospital, where life-saving efforts were administered; he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead, according to borough officials.

The North Slope Borough Police Department is investigating the incident, the borough mayor’s office said.

It’s not clear whether police had any suspects or whether any arrests had been made in relation to Fosi’s death. The borough did not say whether police considered the death suspicious.

The District Attorney’s Office has been working with borough police, Fairbanks District Attorney Joseph Dallaire said.

“While this investigation plays out, the case has not yet been referred to my office for formal review and no charges have been filed at this time,” Dallaire said.


Borough officials have not released further information because it could interfere with the investigation and privacy rights of the people involved, said Kevin Fisher, assistant borough attorney with the North Slope’s Department of Law.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, additional information is not available at this time,” the borough mayor’s office said in its statement. “We want to reassure the community that there is no current threat to public safety related to this incident.”

Alena Naiden

Alena Naiden writes about communities in the North Slope and Northwest Arctic regions for the Arctic Sounder and ADN. Previously, she worked at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.