Names of troopers and K-9 involved in weekend shooting revealed

Alaska State Troopers. Photo: Monica Gokey/ Alaska Public Media file photo.
Alaska State Troopers. (File photo by Monica Gokey, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

Authorities have identified the troopers involved in a fatal shooting of a suspect Sunday outside of Wasilla.

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Christopher Havens, a trooper since 2012, and Jason Somerville, a trooper since 2015, both discharged their firearms in the shooting that killed 36-year-old Justin Smith of Wasilla early Sunday morning.

Smith allegedly took troopers on a high speed chase, which ended on the Parks Highway after Troopers deployed spike strips.

Troopers say Smith then attempted to flee, and trooper K-9, Rico, was sent after the suspect.

Smith allegedly fired on and killed Rico, a three-year-old Dutch shepherd.

Both troopers fired their weapons, fatally wounding Smith.

K-9 Rico had worked with trooper Havens since October 2016.

State investigators have not released any more details on the fatal shooting.

This story contained contributions from Josh Edge with Alaska Public Media.

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