Anchor Point man gets 59 years in prison for attempted murder of Alaska State Trooper

Bret Herrick. (Alaska State Troopers photo)

A man who shot and severely wounded an Alaska State Trooper in Anchor Point has been ordered to serve 59 years in prison.

A Superior Court judge in Homer sentenced 62-year-old Bret Herrick on Wednesday. A jury earlier found Herrick guilty on all counts he faced in the Aug. 23, 2021 attack on Trooper Bruce Brueggeman, including attempted murder.

In an interview this summer, Brueggeman said he had been trying to serve an arrest warrant on Herrick — who was known to wear long coats concealing weapons. After the two men fell to the ground in an initial scuffle, Herrick began firing a .45-caliber pistol at Brueggeman, who returned fire with a service weapon that jammed.

an Alaska State Trooper
Alaska State Trooper Bruce Brueggeman, who was shot five times by Bret Herrick in 2021. (Courtesy Bruce Brueggeman)

Brueggeman was struck five times, primarily in his left arm. He said Herrick had been approaching him and planned to “finish the job” when his backup, trooper Sgt. Daniel Cox, arrived at the scene 30 seconds later. Herrick ran. He was arrested after an overnight manhunt.

Doctors were able to save Brueggeman’s arm in multiple surgeries, but he said he spent more than a year recovering from the shooting.

In a statement from the Department of Law Thursday, prosecutors said the court gave Herrick a higher sentence due to several aggravating factors.

“The jury found an aggravating factor, that the crimes were directed at law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties,” the statement said. “The Court found additional aggravating factors because Herrick engaged in similar conduct in the past and because he had five prior misdemeanor convictions.” 

Herrick was sentenced to 65 years for shooting Brueggeman, five years for an earlier escape charge, three years for assault, one year for resisting arrest and 90 days on each of two counts of violating his release conditions. Fifteen years of time were suspended, but the remainder will be served consecutively.

After Herrick leaves prison, he will also spend 10 years on probation.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Chris here.

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