Pilot Station Man Dies After Exchanging Gunfire With Troopers

Mar 9, 2018

Credit Google Maps

Update: Heckman's death marks the first Trooper-involved shooting of 2018 in the state of Alaska.

Original story: A Pilot Station man fleeing from the law has died after a day-long standoff ended in a shootout with State Troopers. Dwight Heckman, age 27, was found dead Thursday evening in the woods around the village following the gunfire, according to an online Trooper dispatch. No other injuries have been reported.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is traveling to Pilot Station today, Friday, to investigate what happened. Then the case will be reviewed by the Department of Law’s Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals.

The deceased is accused of allegedly striking and strangling a woman in Pilot Station before dragging her into the street, and firing a handgun multiple times before escaping on a snowmachine. The victim is now reported to be safe with her family.

Because of whiteout conditions, Troopers arrived in the village the next day. According to the Troopers, the suspect pulled a gun on a Trooper and later fired multiple rounds at officers.

Backup Troopers from Southcentral arrived hours later to support the Village Police Officers and St. Mary’s Troopers responding to the situation. The officers secured the area and the final gunfire occurred about 28 hours after the initial assault.

The Troopers involved in the response will be placed on a standard 72-hour administrative leave per department policy. Heckman’s family has been notified of his death.