A troubled Army veteran who died in the woods near Eielson Air Force Base during a strange incident involving firearms, likely succumbed to exposure, state officials said Wednesday.
For reasons that are still unknown, Brady Alexander Jackson, 35, went into the woods early Tuesday morning at property he was renting on Eielson Farm Road and started randomly shooting into the woods. No one else was injured in the incident.
“We are not entirely sure what drove him to take up arms and head into the woods yet,” said Austin McDaniel, public information officer for the Alaska State Troopers, “Mr. Jackson was experiencing a personal crisis of some sort.”
At 6:55 a.m. on Tuesday, Alaska State Troopers in the Fairbanks area began receiving reports from multiple residences in the Eielson Farm Road area about shots being fired. Residents in the area later said the shots sounded like fireworks being set off in rapid succession. One man who lives close to the lot where Jackson lived, noted the distinct sound of three-round bursts, similar to that of an M-16A2 military service rifle, being fired.
Troopers had difficulty making verbal contact with Jackson. According to McDaniel, a local veterans advocacy group was contacted to help talk with Jackson, but prior to their arrival, troopers were able to reach Jackson’s location. He was unresponsive but wearing vests for body armor, armed with a handgun and an unidentified semi-automatic weapon.
They brought Jackson to the roadway where medical support units were waiting, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. At the time of the incident, temperatures in the Eielson Farm area had dipped to below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
“Jackson appeared to succumb to the subzero weather,” McDaniel said.
State officials would not say if Jackson will be sent to the SME for autopsy. Alcohol and drugs appear to be a factor. Next of kin have been notified.
In May, Jackson was arrested in Fairbanks on a warrant from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for allegedly vandalizing two statues in The SculptureWalk, an outdoor art exhibit in Sioux Falls. According to police, Jackson allegedly vandalized the statues while on a short trip from Fairbanks to South Dakota. According to Sioux Falls City Police, Jackson had no active warrants at the time of his arrest.