A man shot Saturday in an altercation with a state trooper has been identified as Jon Ployhar of Sterling.
Ployhar, 49, was driving on Mile 82 of the Sterling Highway around 11:20 p.m., Saturday when a state trooper attempted to pull him over. Ployhar did not stop, and after a short pursuit, the trooper pulled him over on Moose River Drive in Sterling, said Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Megan Peters.
When the trooper approached him, a fight allegedly ensued, during which the trooper pulled his gun and shot Ployhar. Ployhar was pronounced dead on scene and the trooper was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital for facial injuries.
The trooper’s injuries are not life-threatening, but will require follow-up treatment, Peters said in an email. Per Alaska State Troopers policy, the trooper’s name will not be released until 72 hours after the incident, she said.
“There is not a lot of information we can add as it is an ongoing investigation,” Peters said.
Ployhar was a member of the Sterling Brotherhood, said Wayne “Froggy” Debnam, a member of the group. The community watch group gained attention when they caught and held a burglar, Brandon Bernier, for the troopers in August.
Several of the group’s members pursued Bernier down to the river after allegedly seeing him attempt to steal a car. The group pursued him to the Izaak Walton Campground and held him there until the troopers arrived.
“You got to know that (Jon) was the one who went in the water to get Brandon Bernier,” Debnam said.
Ployhar’s body was taken to Anchorage for autopsy. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is continuing the investigation.