Crime & Courts

Wasilla police identify officer who shot 23-year-old man

WASILLA -- Wasilla police on Thursday said a two-year veteran of the department fired a single shot at the 23-year-old armed man who died early Monday in a home on Wasilla's east side.

Michael Bonty was pronounced dead at the neat single-story house in the Mission Hills subdivision "following EMS efforts," according to a news release from the department on Thursday afternoon.

Police, following a customary 72-hour waiting period, identified 28-year-old Andrew Kappler as the officer involved in the shooting.

Kappler and another officer responded at 12:08 a.m. Monday to a reported domestic disturbance and were confronted by Bonty, according to the release. He was armed. Authorities have not identified the weapon he held.

The officers found Bonty "suffering from several self-inflicted wounds," the release said. "Bonty made a threatening move toward one of the occupants in the residence."

Kappler fired one shot, striking Bonty, it continued.

The cause of death has not been determined by the state medical examiner, police say.

Earlier reports said the disturbance also involved a woman who was in the house at the time. She has not been identified.

Alaska State Troopers are investigating the incident at Wasilla's request. Spokeswoman Megan Peters said Thursday there would be no additional information provided about any details at this point.

The state's investigative report will be forwarded to the Office of Special Prosecutions for legal review regarding whether the use of force was justifiable under the circumstances of Bonty's shooting.

Contact Zaz Hollander at zhollander@alaskadispatch.com.

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