FAIRBANKS—A man was fatally shot by law enforcement officers in North Pole on Wednesday morning after firing shots at them during a high-speed chase.
It was the second officer-involved shooting in two days in the Fairbanks area.
The incident that led to Wednesday's shooting began at 9:01 a.m. as Alaska State Troopers attempted to stop a vehicle at South Cushman Street and the Mitchell Expressway for failing to use a turn signal, according to trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters. The driver sped off immediately and several minutes into the pursuit began firing shots at troopers.
Fairbanks police joined in the pursuit, which lasted about half an hour and involved a failed attempt to stop the vehicle using tire-deflation devices.
The lone passenger in the vehicle also fired shots at the officers during the chase, which ended at 9:38 a.m. when the vehicle came to a stop near the intersection of the Old Richardson Highway and Dennis Road in North Pole.
Troopers and Fairbanks police officers fired at the suspects and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin.
The passenger, a woman, was also shot. She was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and is expected to recover from her injuries, according to patrol officer and police spokesman Doug Welborn. The woman's identity has not yet been released.
The case is still under investigation and will be forwarded to the district attorney's office, Welborn said.
As a precautionary measure, all Fairbanks North Star Borough School District schools were put on lockdown during the chase.
This is the second Fairbanks-area officer-involved shooting in less than 24 hours. A man was critically wounded in a shooting Tuesday morning after a brief stand-off with troopers and police near the intersection of Wilbur Street and Davis Road.
Welborn addressed the unusual circumstance of back-to-back officer-involved shootings.
"What we want the public to understand is that this is really unfortunate. We never like to see things end with this type of result, but in this particular situation it was important to protect the public by those means in order to prevent further death or injury," Welborn said.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime. Staff writer Jeff Richardson contributed to this report.