AST IDs injured trooper, Sgt. who fired in fatal shooting
State Troopers have identified the officers involved in Saturday's shooting that ended in the death of Nikolai Yakunin, 42, of Nikolaevsk.
Trooper Luke Kumfer and Sergeant Daniel Cox, from the Anchor Point post, have been with troopers for seven and 20 years, respectively. Cox was placed on 72 hours of mandatory administrative leave after the shooting.
Troopers say around 2:17 p.m. Saturday, they received a report that Yakunin was in contact with a female who he was not to have contact with based on a condition of release from a recent court case.
Just after 7 p.m., Trooper Kumfer arrived at a residence on Nikolaevsk Road to speak with Yakunin.
Trooper spokesperson Tim DeSpain says Kumfer radioed for backup and fired his taser, and also sprayed Yakunin with OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray, but Yakunin's "aggression escalated".
"While on scene at the residence where Yakunin was located, Yakunin attacked [Trooper Kumfer], injuring him and incapacitating him where the Trooper was unable to adequately defend himself," troopers wrote.
DeSpain says Yakunin continued to assault Kumfer, who was on the ground, for approximately 20 minutes, when Sergeant Cox arrived and ultimately shot Yakunin, stopping the assault.
“One person was confirmed deceased on scene,” troopers wrote. “A trooper was injured during the incident and transported by [emergency medical services] to the hospital in Homer with reportedly serious injuries.”
Trooper Kumfer has since been released from the hospital, though DeSpain says he is still recovering from injuries sustained in the incident.
Members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation and Homer police responded to the scene.
Yakunin’s death marks the month’s second fatal trooper-involved shooting. On March 8, 27-year-old Dwight Heckman died during a firefight with troopers in the Western Alaska village of Pilot Station, a day after troopers had sought him in the assault of a woman.
The evidence gathered in this investigation will be forwarded to the Department of Law's Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, which determines whether the actions of the troopers were within the law.
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