Four children killed in Fairbanks murder-suicide, troopers say

An Alaska State Trooper cruiser parked on Nome’s Front Street in January 2015.
An Alaska State Trooper cruiser. (Matthew Smith/KNOM)

Four children are dead in what Alaska State Troopers say was a murder-suicide in Fairbanks.

Troopers in a statement said they received a report of shots being fired at a Fairbanks home on Tuesday afternoon. The report came from a neighbor, said troopers spokesperson Tim DeSpain.

Responding troopers found four children dead from apparent gunshot wounds and three other children who were not injured. All of the children were siblings, said DeSpain. The children’s parents were not home when the shooting occurred.

Troopers say their investigation determined that a 15-year-old boy had shot three of his siblings and then himself. The children who troopers believe the boy shot and killed were ages 5, 8 and 17. The bodies were being sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, according to troopers.

The three other children found in the home were all under the age of 7, said DeSpain.

The Office of Children’s Services has been notified, said troopers.

Clinton Bennett, a spokesperson for the state Department of Family and Community Services, under which the office falls, said by email that the office cannot provide information on the case due to confidentiality rules and because it’s an open investigation.

DeSpain said the gun used by the 15-year-old boy was a family gun, but said he could not provide additional information

“Beyond that, it’s all still part of the ongoing investigation,” he said.

He could not say if the 15-year-old had had any previous interactions with law enforcement, saying that would also be part of the investigation.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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