Law enforcement officers fatally shoot an Aniak man after he wounded a deputy US Marshal
Law enforcement officials shot and killed a man in Aniak on Feb. 4. Alaska State Troopers say that happened after the man shot and wounded a U.S. Marshal while they were trying to arrest him.
Alaska State Troopers called the U.S. Marshals to Aniak. They wanted backup for what they called a high-risk arrest. Thirty-four-year-old Andrew John Jr. had been wanted on one felony assault charge since since Jan. 31. The officers attempted the arrest on Feb. 4. According to troopers, as they searched John’s home, John shot and wounded a U.S. deputy marshal.
The officers evacuated the wounded marshal, exited the house, and surrounded it. When John stepped outside, multiple officers shot at him and killed him. They pronounced him dead on the scene. The wounded marshal was taken to the Aniak sub-regional clinic, and then medevaced to a hospital in Anchorage where he’s in stable condition.
Troopers say John was carrying a loaded shotgun when he came out of his house. Troopers would not describe how John was carrying the gun or how many shells it contained, saying that information is part of an ongoing investigation by the Alaska State Troopers Bureau of Investigation. A spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers said that he was not aware if the troopers or the U.S. Marshals were wearing body cameras at the time of the incident.
Troopers did not say why they considered this particular arrest to be a high-risk, but did list the factors that they take into account when determining the risk level of an arrest: “the suspect’s criminal history, the nature of previous contact the suspect had with law enforcement, information about the location, and information about other persons potentially at the location.”
A previous lawyer for Andrew John Jr., Attorney Julia Metzger from the office of Public Advocacy, said she represented John in July 2021. He was being tried for allegedly assaulting a trooper. Metzger said John was acquitted of all charges in that case.
John was wanted on one felony charge of assault in the third degree. He was not charged with assaulting someone, but of allegedly causing fear that he would assault or harm another person. He was also wanted on one misdemeanor count of violating his conditions of release.
Interim mayor of Aniak Dave Cannon called the shooting an “unfortunate incident.”
This story has been updated with a comment from Troopers about why the arrest was considered "high risk," and with a comment from John's former attorney.