Crime & Justice

Driver dead, passenger wounded in gunfight with Fairbanks law enforcement

A man who exchanged gunfire with Alaska State Troopers and Fairbanks police during an attempted traffic stop and pursuit was shot dead Wednesday morning in Fairbanks, and his female passenger was wounded.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters provided an email update Wednesday afternoon on the city's second trooper-involved shooting in two days.

"The driver, a male, died on scene and a female passenger was injured," Peters wrote. "She was transported to the hospital."

According to Peters, the incident began at about 9 a.m. near South Cushman Street's intersection with the Robert Mitchell Expressway, when the driver failed to use a turn signal.

"The vehicle immediately began eluding troopers," Peters wrote. "A few minutes into the pursuit, shots were fired toward troopers from the vehicle by both the driver and the single passenger."

More troopers, as well as Fairbanks police, were alerted to the chase, but attempts to deflate the vehicle's tires failed. The pursuit ended at about 9:30 a.m. when the vehicle stopped at Dennis Road's intersection with Bradway Road.

"Shots were exchanged between law enforcement and the suspects," Peters wrote. "No troopers or FPD officers are known to be injured."

The two occupants fired "multiple rounds" at law enforcement, Fairbanks Police Department officer Doug Welborn said Wednesday evening.

Peters said no further information on the shooting, including how many officers opened fire or whether any trooper vehicles were struck during the incident, was immediately available Wednesday.

Both Alaska State Troopers and the Fairbanks Police Department were involved in the shooting, Welborn said.

Between the two agencies, "at least a dozen vehicles were involved," in Wednesday's incident, he said.

One Fairbanks Police Department vehicle was struck by gunfire, but the damage did not affect the car's performance, Welborn said.

In a separate incident Tuesday, a man who was allegedly driving a stolen vehicle was shot and wounded by multiple troopers shortly after 10 a.m. at the Davis Road ball fields. An update wasn't immediately available on that suspect, who was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Reporter Laurel Andrews contributed to this report.

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