An Anchor Point man was convicted Tuesday of attempted murder in connection to a 2021 incident during which he shot an Alaska State Trooper five times at the Warehouse Grocery Store in Anchor Point.
Bret Herrick, 62, of Anchor Point, was found guilty on all charges following a multiday trial, including attempted murder, four counts of assault in varying degrees, escape in the second degree, resisting arrest and two counts violating conditions of release. Herrick was indicted by a Kenai grand jury in September 2021 on six counts, including attempted murder, assault and escape.
Alaska State Troopers on Aug. 23, 2021, contacted Herrick, who was wanted on multiple outstanding warrants, at the Anchor Point Warehouse store. Trooper Bruce Brueggeman, who was on duty in Anchor Point at the time another trooper was attempting to locate Herrick, approached Herrick outside the store, Investigator Timothy Cronin wrote in an Aug. 24 affidavit.
The Alaska Department of Law said in a Tuesday press release that Herrick was tackled by Brueggeman and then used a previously concealed handgun and fired at Brueggeman. Brueggeman, who later reported that his gun malfunctioned during the exchange, was shot multiple times in the torso and in the arm.
Herrick then fled the scene. Brueggeman was taken via ambulance to a hospital in Homer, then airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He ultimately underwent multiple surgeries to repair the damage to his arm and had a fractured rib where bullets struck his ballistic vest, Cronin wrote in the affidavit.
The shooting prompted an overnight manhunt for Herrick, as well as the temporary closure of the Sterling Highway and a lockdown at the nearby Chapman Elementary School. Herrick was ultimately arrested by law enforcement the morning after the shooting, when he was seen walking in the woods near his residence.
Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell in a statement shared Wednesday thanked those who assisted with emergency response and investigation of the incident. An “unwavering commitment to justice,” Cockrell said, ensured Herrick was held accountable for his actions.
“Since Trooper Brueggeman was shot, we have witnessed a remarkable outpouring of support from our community members has been truly humbling,” Cockrell said. “The unwavering support and solidarity shown by Alaskans during these trying times have been a beacon of hope for all of us. Let this conviction be a testament to our determination to uphold the rule of law, protect those who protect us, and ensure that acts of violence against law enforcement will not go unpunished.”
Herrick is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1. He faces between seven and 99 years for attempted murder, as well as up to five years for assault in the third degree and up to 10 years for escape in the second degree.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at email@example.com.