Bethel Man Recovering From Gunshot Wound After Altercation With Police

A 31-year-old Bethel man is recovering after being shot by a police officer during an altercation Friday. The man, Aaron Moses, was stabilized in Bethel and medevaced to Anchorage. One officer was also treated for minor injuries.

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Interim City Manager Greg Moyer could not share any additional details Friday evening.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, we’re diligently looking into it right now as we speak,” Moyer said.

According to the Alaska State Troopers officers with the Bethel Police Department responded to a disturbance at about 10:35 a.m. on Friday morning. Upon arrival they came into contact with a man holding a baseball bat. Officers engaged in efforts to control the man, including the use of a taser, according to Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

“It resulted in a struggle in which one of the officers was struck by the baseball bat,” Peters said. “One of the officers was able to draw his firearm.”

A video of the incident provided to KYUK indicates a shot fired while one officer was set back, another officer was on the ground, and Moses was standing close with the baseball bat raised.  Troopers say he was shot in the abdomen.  Moyer says the two officers were placed on administrative leave as per policy.

A witness, Ryan White, says he saw Moses walking outside Friday morning with a baseball bat. He says Moses ran toward the police with the bat at one point, and then stepped back for a moment.

“I’m not really sure if he was trying to run past them or not, and they tried tasing him, twice, both cops used their tasers on them,” White said.

After that, White says one of the police officers shot him. They then ran to handcuff him.

Alaska State Troopers are investigating after they were contacted by the Bethel Police Department.
Members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation arrived Friday and secured the scene. Bethel Police have not commented on the incident. When reached by KYUK, State Troopers declined to share any more information.

A family member confirms that Moses is stable and being treated in the Intensive Care Unit at the Alaska Native Medical Center Monday.

Shane Iverson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.

Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email.

Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

Ben Matheson is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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