Charge: Alaska man fatally shot troopers
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — As two state troopers struggled to arrest his father, a 19-year-old man armed himself with an assault rifle and shot them seven times, killing them outside his home in a remote Alaska village, authorities said in charges filed yesterday.
Nathaniel Lee Kangas appeared in a Fairbanks court two days after Trooper Gabriel “Gabe” Rich and 45-year-old Sgt. Patrick “Scott” Johnson were shot to death. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and a count of third-degree assault.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported every seat was full and the walls were lined with law enforcement officers of several agencies as Kangas faced his charges.
The slayings of Rich and Johnson on Thursday in the isolated community of Tanana underscored the challenges law enforcement faces in this huge state. Like many troopers assigned to patrol multiple villages, Rich and Johnson were not based in the interior community of 238 people. They worked out of the troopers’ four-person rural service unit in Fairbanks 130 miles to the east, and they had to reach Tanana by plane.
Rich and Johnson had traveled to Tanana to arrest Kangas’ 58-year-old father, Arvin, on charges of driving without a license and threatening the village’s unarmed public safety officer, Mark Haglin.
Kiev, Moscow pitch differing narratives
MOSCOW — European military observers who were held more than a week by insurgents in eastern Ukraine walked free yesterday, with Kiev insisting the release proves Russia is fomenting unrest in Ukraine — as Moscow touted the insurgents as courageous humanists.
The latest battling narratives came a day after dozens of protesters died while trapped in a horrifying fire in Odessa, hundreds of miles away. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the deaths show Ukraine’s acting leaders are “are up to their elbows in blood,” while authorities in Kiev blamed pro-Russia provocateurs.