Car chase in Wasilla ends in fatal shooting

  • By Staff reports
  • Sunday, March 26, 2017 8:45pm
  • News

A man has died after being shot by an Alaska State Trooper after a failed traffic stop in Wasilla.

Early Sunday morning, a trooper tried to pull over a Subaru in Wasilla and began a car chase when the driver, 36-year-old Justin Smith of Wasilla, failed to stop. After about 45 minutes, Smith hit a spike strip deployed by troopers around milepost 45.5 of the Parks Highway and stopped, according to an online dispatch.

Smith then pulled over, got out of the car and attempted to run, and a police dog was sent out, according to the dispatch.

“The driver turned and fired a handgun,” the dispatch states. “The (police dog) was shot.”

Troopers returned fire and hit Smith, who was then taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center but later died due to his injuries. Smith had two active arrest warrants for his arrest — one for assault in the second degree and probation violation, according to the dispatch.

No troopers were hurt, but the police dog died due to its injuries, according to the dispatch. Per Alaska Department of Public Safety policy, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation is taking over the case responsibility, and the identity of the trooper will not be released until after the standard 72-hour administrative leave, according to the dispatch.

“Following the shooting, the Parks Highway was closed for investigative purposes and has since reopened,” the dispatch states.

–Staff Reports

More in News

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna bumps vote on use of accessory housing as short-term rentals

An accessory dwelling unit is a subordinate, detached dwelling unit located on a lot or parcel with an existing residence

Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Law enforcement to host women’s self-defense class in January

Within 48 hours of the course being advertised, 120 women had signed up to participate

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Local hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

Glover said he didn’t even strike out from his home to go hunting

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
EPA proposes restrictions to block Pebble Mine

Mine developer Pebble Limited Partnershi called the EPA’s decision a preemptive veto

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at this year’s final Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Building with the environment in mind

Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats conclude

Johni Blankenship signs her name after being sworn in as Soldotna City Clerk at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Blankenship sworn in as Soldotna city clerk

Blankenship comes to the City of Soldotna from the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Justin Ruffridge and Jesse Bjorkman for state office on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nov. 8 election results certified

The outcomes of local races for state office remain unchanged

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is photographed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
4 candidates vie for borough mayoral seat

The special election is slated for Feb. 14

Spruce trees are dusted with snow on Dec. 22, 2020, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Soldotna, Alaska. Some areas of the refuge are open to harvest of holiday trees for non-commercial uses beginning Thanksgiving. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Snowmachine use permitted in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge beginning Dec. 1

Areas now available include those “traditionally open to snowmachine use”

Most Read