Rural Alaska

Point Hope teen pleads not guilty to 16 felony counts in shooting that left 2 dead

A 16-year-old boy charged as an adult in the shooting deaths of two people in the Northwest Alaska village of Point Hope was arraigned Friday on 16 felony counts.

Daniel Dalle-Molle, the public defender for Guy Nashookpuk, entered not guilty pleas to the charges leveled against the teen by a grand jury.

Nashookpuk, who appeared telephonically from jail for the proceeding at the courthouse in Kotzebue, did not speak during the arraignment, which took less than five minutes.

Judge Paul Roetman set an omnibus hearing, in which lawyers and the judge handle pretrial matters, for May 8.

Nashookpuk faces two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder, seven counts of assault and a burglary charge in the shooting Feb. 25 that left two people dead and two others injured.

The names of the victims have not been released, and the North Slope Borough spokesperson did not return a message Friday explaining why.

[Previous coverage: 16-year-old charged with murder in shooting deaths of 2 adults in Point Hope]


Roetman maintained Nashookpuk’s $1 million bail, which was set at his first court appearance Feb. 27.

Few details of the shooting have emerged.

Initial charging documents said North Slope Borough police found a man and woman dead and two other men wounded when officers responded to a shooting at a Point Hope home.

One witness told officers she saw the teen enter the home with a handgun and begin shooting. Others said they saw him flee on a four-wheeler.

Less than 10 minutes later, the teen’s father escorted him to the police station and reported “that his son had told him that he did it,” court documents said.

Police said in a later interview with his parents present, the teen admitted to the shooting, according to the charging document.

No motive has been released.

Point Hope, with a population of less than 1,000, sits on a triangular spit of land that juts into the Chukchi Sea.

Mark Thiessen, Associated Press

Mark Thiessen is a reporter for the Associated Press based in Anchorage.