Teen suspect charged with murder after Point Hope shooting leaves 2 dead, 2 wounded

The view from Point Hope, early winter 2015. (Photo by Ellen Chenoweth/University of Alaska Fairbanks)
A winter 2015 scene in Point Hope (Ellen Chenoweth/University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Update Tuesday:

A teenage boy has been charged with killing two adults and wounding two others during a shooting Sunday night in Point Hope.

Court records show Guy Nashookpuk, 16, is charged with two first-degree counts each of murder and attempted murder in Sunday’s shooting.

According to a charging document filed Monday against Nashookpuk, borough police responded just after 11:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of a shooting at an Agvik Street residence. Officers found four gunshot victims: a dead man and woman, along with two severely wounded men.

“One witness told police that she saw Nashookpuk enter the residence bearing a handgun and start shooting,” prosecutors wrote in the charging document. “Other witnesses told police they saw Nashookpuk armed with a handgun flee the scene on a four-wheeler.”

The document did not mention what relationship Nashookpuk had with the victims, if any, or any motive for the shooting.

About 10 minutes later, prosecutors said, Nashookpuk’s father brought him to the Point Hope police station, saying he had confessed to the shooting. The charging document said Nashookpuk was read his Miranda rights, then allegedly repeated the confession during an interview with his parents present.

In court Tuesday, Nashookpuk pleaded not guilty. A judge appointed him a public defender and set his bail at $1 million dollars, requiring a third-party custodian for his release.

Representatives from the North Slope Borough did not answer questions for this story, including the victims’ names as well as the survivors’ conditions.

Original story:

North Slope Borough officials say multiple people were killed Sunday evening in a shooting in Point Hope, with an unnamed suspect held in the incident.

A statement from Borough Mayor Josiah Patkotak’s office said the incident took place in the community of about 840 people, roughly 330 miles southwest of Utqiagvik. Borough officials said the shooting occurred at a local residence.

“The matter is still under investigation but we want to assure the public that there is no ongoing risk to community safety,” Patkotak wrote. “This was an isolated incident and the suspect is currently in custody.”

a statement
A statement from North Slope Borough Mayor Josiah Patkotak about a fatal incident in Point Hope on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (From NSB)

The statement does not include additional details about the incident, including how many people were killed and injured and where it happened.

Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said the North Slope Borough Police Department was handling the case.

Patkotak said the local Tikiġaq School was closed Monday, with no word on when it might reopen.

Patkotak offered his sympathies to victims and families, saying the borough has organized grief counseling services with the North Slope Health Department and the Maniilaq Association.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

a portrait of a man outside

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him atcklint@alaskapublic.org.Read more about Chrishere.

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