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Crime & Courts

Troopers release name of Palmer trooper who fatally shot woman in Houston

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: July 8, 2016
  • Published February 25, 2016

The Alaska state trooper who shot and killed a woman after she allegedly aimed a gun at him during a standoff in Houston has been identified, with troopers releasing few additional details on what happened.

Palmer Trooper Nick Murphy shot 38-year-old Wasilla resident Patricia Kruger, according to a dispatch issued early Thursday. The shooting, during a standoff that began Sunday night, occurred almost a year to the day after Murphy became a trooper on Feb. 22, 2015.

Murphy was one of at least three troopers who responded to a disturbance at a trailer home off Hawk Lane in Houston, first reported to troopers just after 11 p.m., in which Kruger had entered the residence, taken a handgun from the homeowner and opened fire.

Troopers said at the time that the homeowner fled as a perimeter was set up around the residence. Unsuccessful attempts to speak to Kruger were answered with more gunfire by her. Murphy shot Kruger, troopers said, when she pointed the firearm at him.

Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said in a Tuesday email that nothing further on the shooting was immediately being released due to the pending investigation.

"The Alaska Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate this incident," Ipsen wrote. "Interviews with people involved continues along with the evaluation of evidence collected at the scene and submission of evidence to the (state crime lab)."

Kruger's body had been set to undergo an autopsy Tuesday.

Ultimately, the state Department of Law will evaluate Kruger's shooting.

"At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be submitted to the Office of Special Prosecutions to determine if the use of deadly force in this incident was justified under the circumstances," Ipsen wrote.

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