Law enforcement officers fatally shoot an Aniak man after he wounded a deputy US marshal

A small community photographed from above
Aniak in Western Alaska. (Alaska Department of Commerce)

Law enforcement officials shot and killed a man in Aniak on Friday after he shot and wounded a U.S. marshal, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said in an online report that they had called a U.S. Marshals task force to Aniak. They wanted backup for what they called a high-risk arrest.

Andrew John Jr., 34, had been wanted on one felony assault charge since Jan. 31, according to troopers. The task force attempted the arrest around 1 p.m. Friday. As they cleared John’s home, John shot at them and wounded a U.S. deputy marshal, according to the trooper report. The officers evacuated the wounded marshal, exited the house and surrounded it.

“A short time later, John emerged from his home armed with a loaded shotgun,” said the trooper report. “In response to the threat, multiple members of the task force fired their weapons fatally striking John.”

He was pronounced dead on the scene. The wounded marshal was taken to the Aniak sub-regional clinic, and then medevaced to a hospital in Anchorage where he’s in stable condition.

Troopers declined to answer questions about the gun they said John wielded, including how he was carrying the gun and how many bullets it contained, saying that information is part of an ongoing investigation. A spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers said that he was not aware if the troopers or the marshals were wearing body cameras at the time of the incident.

Troopers also did not respond to a question asking why the arrest was considered high risk. John was wanted on one felony charge of assault in the third degree, charged with causing fear that he would assault or harm another person. He was also wanted on one misdemeanor count of violating his conditions of release.

Dave Cannon, Aniak’s interim mayor, called the shooting an “unfortunate incident.”

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