Rabinowitz Courthouse

The Rabinowitz Courthouse in Fairbanks is seen in this 2011 file photo

A father and son arrested for allegedly shooting an 18-year-old in Goldstream were arraigned Friday and formally charged with first-degree murder.

According to court papers, the Thursday morning shooting that ended in the death of Brett Allen, started off as a bizarre argument in the North Pole home of the shooters, Anthony Peterson, 43, and his son Aaron Peterson, 18.  

During the fight between Peterson and his father, from which a gunshot was heard, Allen and three other males, one of them a minor, left the house out of fear and drove toward Goldstream, according to court papers. The argument started with, “weird questions about history and the date of the death of Aaron’s grandmother,” according to the narrative of court charging documents. 

Alter leaving the Peterson house, the group found the younger Peterson walking in Goldstream, but when they tried to get his attention, he fled and hid in some trees. He also called his father and told him “people were trying to kill him,” according to court documents.

The four followed Peterson by car, according to the criminal complaint, they said, to talk to him about the argument and the shooting. They thought they had been put in danger by the fight. Aaron told the investigator he got his handgun out of his clothes and ready in case he had to defend himself, but when he found out who was calling for him, he felt safe and came out of the woods.

As the group was talking, the elder Peterson drove up. The minor, who was armed with a knife, told Aaron if he had tried to shoot him earlier, he would have stabbed him. Aaron’s father jumped into the argument and called the minor a punk. Allen then joined the argument as well. 

The versions of the next events begin to differ from one another. Allen’s friends say the elder Peterson held up a gun to Allen’s head and threatened him, something Peterson has denied to investigators, according to court papers. Allen then went for his weapon, a handgun, which his friends told investigators went off accidentally. Then, according to the criminal filing, Anthony Peterson emptied a clip into Allen, who began screaming he was “hit” and needed to go to the hospital. Aaron told police that he fired four shots at Allen, according to the criminal complaint. Allen’s friends took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Both Petersons are being held in Fairbanks Correctional Center, Anthony under a $500,000 bond and Aaron on a $250,000 bond.

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