Man killed after pursuit and shootout with Alaska authorities, troopers say

Fairbanks, Alaska (AP) – A man was killed during a shootout after leading Alaska State Troopers and other officers on a chase that closed a 7-mile stretch of highway, authorities said. It was the second fatal shooting involving troopers this week.

Troopers on Thursday identified the man killed a day earlier as Michael Grimes, 45, of Fairbanks. Troopers tried to stop a pickup driven by Grimes on Wednesday afternoon north of Healy in connection with an “active felony-level investigation,” Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Safety, said in an email. The troopers are part of the department.

According to the agency, the truck failed to stop for marked trooper vehicles and a chase ensued, during which time Grimes shot at troopers. Troopers were joined by officers from other agencies assigned to a trooper-led narcotics team, McDaniel said. Troopers and other officers returned fire, hitting Grimes, the department statement said.

Authorities used spike strips and other techniques to eventually stop the vehicle, at which time there was “an additional exchange of gunfire between law enforcement officers and the suspect,” the department said. Grimes was declared dead at the scene. There were no injuries reported among law enforcement officers or the woman in Grimes’ vehicle. The department said the woman was arrested on a weapons charge.

It was not immediately clear who fired the fatal shot or shots. McDaniel said that is part of the investigation being conducted by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation.

The Department of Public Safety said officers who fired their weapons have been placed on 72 hours of administrative leave in line with agency policy. Their names weren’t immediately released.

Healy is about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Fairbanks.

Earlier this week, the department said a trooper fatally shot a man who was brandishing a rifle outside a motel in the community of Tok. The trooper was responding to a 911 call from the occupants of a motel room who said a man was trying to break in, the department said.