New details on Seward police officer in fatal shooting
Investigators added new details on the Seward Police Department officer who fatally shot a man during an early morning traffic stop.
SPD Officer Matthew "Eddie" Armstrong, a 13-year veteran of the force, was named by Alaska State Troopers in an online dispatch Oct. 4 as the man who killed 41-year-old Chugiak resident Micah McComas. Armstrong had stopped McComas in the parking lot of the Safeway grocery store in Seward just after 1:45 a.m. Sunday.
Troopers say Armstrong pulled McComas over around 1:05 a.m. October 1 for a speeding violation which turned into a drug investigation. McComas was handcuffed and put in the back of the patrol car. While Armstrong was continuing his investigation, McComas managed to get in the driver's seat and then attempted to drive away.
According to the online dispatch, Armstrong tried to stop McComas but ended up firing his gun at him. Autopsy confirms McComas died from gunshot wounds.
Armstrong suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the encounter, troopers said. The public release of his name was delayed three days under SPD policy.
Troopers were still investigating the shooting pending a review by the state Office of Special Prosecutions, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said.
KTVA asked Peters to clarify some questions about the shooting including:
- Did McComas attempt to strike the officer with the patrol car before deciding to fire his gun?
- Did Armstrong try less-lethal weapons like tasers or mace before using deadly force?
- How many gunshots were fired at McComas?
Peters said she could not give any additional details.
"Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details are being provided," Peters wrote in an email Tuesday. "It is still an active and ongoing investigation."
Seward Police Chief Tom Clemons also declined comment on the shooting, deferring to troopers’ investigation.
Editor's note: Troopers said Seward police initially identified the officer involved in the shooting as Matthew Eddy.
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