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Misfire may have saved kidnapped Fairbanks woman's life

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 6:27 am | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police say a gun misfire may have saved a Fairbanks woman from a man who had kidnapped her, sexually assaulted her and turned a gun on her at the Tanana River dike at the end of Peger Road early Thursday. After the gun misfired, the man reportedly cleared the gun and turned it on himself. Police arrived not long after, and he was pronounced dead.

Police have identified the man who was found dead as Michael Terrance Williams, 33, of Fairbanks. His next of kin have been notified. Police identified the victim only as a 21-year-old Fairbanks woman.

Police also said Williams shot the woman’s boyfriend, a 28-year-old Fort Wainwright soldier, in the thigh earlier in the evening when she was kidnapped. He was taken to Bassett Army Community Hospital and is expected to survive.

This account is based on interviews with the two victims, Fairbanks police Lt. Dan Welborn said. It’s not anticipated the investigation will result in a criminal case because the suspect is dead, though police are examining the physical evidence and waiting for an autopsy report.

“So far, the victims’ account of the story is matching what we have,” he said.

Williams was acquainted with the female victim, Welborn said. The female victim described him as someone she knew. The male victim described Williams as an ex-boyfriend of the female victim, Welborn said.

At 10:17 p.m. Wednesday, Fairbanks police responded to a report of a shooting on the 1500 block of 28th Avenue, where they found the male victim with a gunshot wound.

Police believe the female victim was returning home after a date with the male victim when she was confronted by Williams, who put a gun in her face. The male victim tried to intervene and was shot in the upper thigh, Welborn said. Williams then dragged the woman into a wooded area where he had a vehicle, a black 1996 GMC pickup truck.

The woman told police Williams ordered her at gunpoint to drive around South Fairbanks. At one point, she stopped on Cushman Street, and he sexually assaulted her, she said. They ended up at the end of Peger Road about 1 a.m., where she said he tried to shoot her but ended up killing himself.

Police did not see Williams shoot himself but believe a patrol officer who was searching for Williams happened to arrive on the narrow trail where Williams’ body was found.

Police are not disclosing where Williams was shot, but believe Williams shot himself and that he did so intentionally, Welborn said.

Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.

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