Officers involved in Palmer shooting that left K-9 dead identified
Alaska State Troopers have identified the officers involved in a weekend shooting that left a suspect injured and an trooper K-9 dead.
A complaint filed Monday at the Palmer Courthouse states that at 5:20 a.m. Sunday, Palmer Police Department Officer Szipszky tried to pull over a green sedan, carrying four people, for having a tail light out.
The vehicle did not stop, but instead proceeded through Palmer at high rates of speed and didn’t stop at stop signs, the document says. Officer Antonio Adlesperger joined the pursuit, chasing the sedan southbound on the Glenn Highway at speeds up to 90 mph.
Trooper Christopher Havens joined the search as the vehicle drove down a highway near the Palmer-Wasilla interchange, where the sedan crashed into a tree.
The sedan’s driver, Almando Abarca, got out of the vehicle carrying a pistol and fled into the woods. The complaint states Adlesperger and Havens, as well as trooper K-9 Helo, pursued Abarca on foot.
Abarca fired all of the rounds from his pistol. Helo was shot several times, the complaint says. According to a dispatch from troopers, both officers fired back striking Abarca once in the shoulder.
Abarca was taken into custody with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Helo was transported to a local veterinarian in critical condition, according to an online trooper dispatch. At 9:32 a.m. Sunday, the dog died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene to investigate.
In a dispatch Wednesday morning, troopers stated that Havens was K-9 Helo’s handler. Helo started with the agency in June 2013 and had worked with Havens since March 2014. Helo was a dual-purpose canine, serving as both a patrol and as a scent detection K-9.
Havens has been employed by Alaska State Troopers since February 2012 and Aldesperger has been employed by the Palmer Police Department since June 2014, according to Wednesday’s release.
Abarca was arraigned Monday and faces two counts of third-degree assault, first-degree harming a police dog and eluding police.
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