FPD releases dashcam in fatal officer shooting
Around 3:15 on May 25, Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks were investigating a stolen vehicle and stolen property case when they saw a known individual who had warrants; they attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Old Richardson Highway but the suspect did not pull over, according to troopers.
FPD says the suspect was known to have three no-bail felony warrants for his arrest, and officers suspected he was armed based on evidence present at the investigation scene. Police also say the suspect, 23-year-old Shawn Buck, had prior convictions for riot, vehicle theft, false report and unlawful evasion.
Lieutenant Brian Wassman with AST said in a press conference in days following the incident, “Witnesses reported to troopers that the suspect fired a gun at pursuing troopers during the pursuit.”
Wassman says the Buck turned around and headed northbound on the Richardson Highway at a rate of speed in excess of 100 mph. While turning around onto the Richardson Highway, FPD says Buck nearly t-boned a passing motorist while running a stop sign. A short time later, Fairbanks Police were able to successfully deflate the tires on the suspect vehicle by deploying spike strips.
However, that didn’t stop the suspect; he continued driving on Richardson Highway and exited onto the Mitchell Expressway where he was met by troopers and officers with the Fairbanks Police Department.
The suspect repeatedly rammed an occupied FPD patrol car, as well as an AST unit, as well as the guardrail, according to police. FPD says at this point, Buck was face-to-face with an APD patrol car and could clearly be seen with a gun to his head, though he continued to ram his vehicle into officers' patrol cars, both in front and behind him. In the video released Wednesday, officers are heard yelling "he has a gun" as they approach the pickup, moments before shots ring out.
FPD says officers on the ground feared they or their fellow officers were in imminent danger by Buck and his actions, as Buck repeatedly used his truck as a weapon, and used his handgun to fire at officers during the pursuit. Further, FPD says Buck endangered the lives of civilians on the on-ramp.
Buck was struck by gunfire and taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Alaska State Troopers identified the FPD officers involved in the shooting as officer Tyler Larimer, officer Dennis Benn, Sergeant Ron Dupee and Chief Eric Jewkes.
Officer Larimer, age 23, has been with the department for nine months. Officer Dennis Benn, age 39, is a nine-year veteran of the department. Sergeant Ron Dupee, age 38, is an 11-year veteran of the department. Chief Eric Jewkes, age 45, is a 23-year veteran of the department.
State prosecutors cleared each of the officers involved in the incident of any wrongdoing in late-July.
WARNING: The dashcam video released by Fairbanks Police is GRAPHIC and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.