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2 Alaska troopers shot, gunman found dead

Associated Press Modified: June 18, 2012 at 12:31 am •  Published: June 18, 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two Alaska State Troopers were shot Sunday in a remote town north of the Arctic Circle, touching off a near-nine hour standoff that ended with the suspected gunman apparently taking his own life, authorities said.

Law officers in Kotzebue found Arvid Nelson Jr. about 6 p.m. Sunday in his pickup truck, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said.

In gunfire that led to the standoff, one of the troopers was seriously wounded and flown to Anchorage, 550 miles southeast. The other was less seriously injured and treated locally.

Ipsen said Nelson was from Kotzebue, which serves as a regional hub for Inupiat Eskimo villages, but no other details about him were released, including his age.

The standoff began around 9 a.m. after troopers responded to a report of shots possibly fired. As troopers approached Nelson's pickup truck, shooting erupted that left the two injured, authorities said.

A Trooper statement shed no light on what prompted Nelson to remain holed up in his truck for the next several hours.

City Attorney Joe Evans witnessed the initial shooting and said the incident began as he was having breakfast with police Chief Craig Moates.

Moates took a call that there may have been shots fired from a man in a pickup truck toward a police officer in a patrol car and Evans accompanied the chief to where the pickup had crashed into a guardrail.

By that time, Evans said, three patrol cars had arrived carrying two Kotzebue police officers and the two state troopers. Evans and the chief observed from 75 to 100 yards away, expecting a quick resolution.

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