ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two Alaska State Troopers have been shot and killed during an investigation in a remote village, including at least one who had appeared in a television show about Alaska officers on the job.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters identified the two killed Thursday in Tanana as Trooper Gabriel "Gabe" Rich and Sgt. Patrick "Scott" Johnson.
She confirmed that Rich had been featured on the National Geographic show "Alaska State Troopers," and said Johnson might have also appeared but couldn't immediately confirm that.
The show's website says it follows "one of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation" and adds, "Responding by land, air, and sea — with backup sometimes days away — these troopers patrol hundreds of miles of rugged terrain in bone-chilling temperatures to protect the people and wildlife of Alaska."
Troopers have released few details about the violence in the isolated community located about 130 miles west of Fairbanks, other than saying one person has been detained. No roads lead to Tanana and travel there is mainly by aircraft. Residents live a largely subsistence lifestyle.
The troopers had gone to Tanana to follow up on a Wednesday night report that someone "had brandished a firearm in the village," Peters said. Both worked out of the troopers' Fairbanks rural service unit.
Gov. Sean Parnell said in a statement that he and his wife, Sandy, "were deeply saddened to learn of the senseless, brutal crime that took the lives of two of Alaska's finest. These fallen heroes answered the call to serve and protect, and made the ultimate sacrifice, while keeping our communities safe."
Ruby Cruger said the shooting happened at her aunt's home on Tanana's Front Street just about 3 p.m. Thursday. She said her aunt wasn't home at the time, but a relative of her aunt shot the troopers inside the home.