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Alaska actor arrested, charged in shooting of 2 men near Kiana

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Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:06 pm | Updated: 11:31 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Updated 12:10 p.m. Friday with names of shooting victims

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The suspect in a shooting of two brothers in northwest Alaska was arrested Thursday and identified as a promising actor who went missing earlier this month after the death of his 74-year-old mother, Alaska State Troopers said.

Teddy Kyle Smith, 45, was taken into custody without incident Thursday afternoon when he surrendered to authorities on the Squirrel River, 16 miles upriver from Kiana.

Smith appeared as an Inupiat Eskimo father in the award-winning independent film "On the Ice," which had its theatrical debut in February. The film was a 2011 Sundance Film Festival entry and won an award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Smith, from the Inupiat village of Kiana, is charged with attempted murder, theft, robbery and weapons misconduct in connection with the Tuesday night shooting of 46-year-old Paul Buckel of Kotzebue and 47-year-old Charles Buckel of Fostoria, Mich. The men were shot at a remote cabin near the confluence of the Squirrel and Omar rivers, 40 miles north of Kiana, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

Charles Buckel was shot in chest, and Paul Buckel in the arm, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Peters wouldn't confirm that, but said both are recovering at separate hospitals.

The Buckels had stopped at the cabin, found the suspect already staying there and were shot after an altercation. Authorities said Smith stole the brothers' inflatable boat and hunting equipment, and fled by river.

Troopers searching from the air on Wednesday, about 35 miles upriver from Kiana, spotted a boat matching the description of the one stolen.

Peters said she didn't know if Smith's intent was to return to his hometown, but about a dozen troopers on Thursday waited for him 16 miles upriver from the village, where he was arrested.

Officials in Kiana, which has a population of about 370, ordered a lockdown for much of Wednesday after troopers were informed of the shooting.

It's not the first time this month the village went into lockdown mode because of Smith.

The first happened after Smith allegedly pointed a firearm at three people before fleeing the village on Sept. 7, following the death of his mother, Dolly Smith. That prompted a search by troopers that lasted for days.

Smith was charged with four counts of assault in that case, but he is not accused in the death of his mother.

Kiana is 510 miles northwest of Anchorage and 57 miles east of Kotzebue, where he is scheduled to be arranged Friday.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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