Ronald Dean Beyering. (Photo via Alaska State Troopers)

Ronald Dean Beyering. (Photo via Alaska State Troopers)

Man wanted in relation to Funny River shooting, arson incident remains at large

He is described as armed and dangerous

Alaska State Troopers on Monday were still looking for 62-year-old Ronald Beyering in connection with a shooting and residential fire that occurred late Saturday night near Funny River Road in Soldotna.

According to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers, Beyering was seen leaving the property of a residence “fully (engulfed) in flames” that was reported to troopers late Saturday night. The residence fire occurred on Lourdes Avenue off Funny River Road. Troopers have been granted an arrest warrant for Beyering and remain actively searching for him.

Alaska State Troopers Sgt. Joseph Miller wrote in an affidavit accompanying charging documents dated Sunday someone called 9-1-1 from an address on Lourdes Avenue in Soldotna at about 11:58 p.m. on Saturday night and said that Beyering was shooting at them, including into the walls and front door of the residence.

The caller’s wife, who lives at the same address, also called 9-1-1 and said that their house and gas tanks were on fire, the affidavit says.

Miller wrote that he and two other troopers arrived at the residence about 20 minutes after the initial 9-1-1 call was made and that he observed “a large fire through the trees coming from the residents.” Miller wrote that he heard several gunshots and observed muzzle flashes from the end of the driveway.

“As the two other troopers and I attempted to move closer through a wooded area the shooting stopped and a vehicle further down Lourdes Avenue started and drove away quickly from the scene towards Seclusion Street,” Miller wrote in the affidavit.

Troopers also found a burned fuel can on the ground near the residence, Miller wrote, as well as a burn pattern leading from the fuel can to two heating oil drums that were used to fuel the home’s heating system.

According to the affidavit, the couple was in a workshop cabin when one of them heard a “loud bang” outside and went to investigate. The caller told troopers that she looked out and saw their home on fire and Beyering standing in their yard with a “large handgun.” Beyering then pointed the gun at her and began to shoot, so she ran into the home and locked the door, the affidavit says.

The caller’s wife told troopers that Beyering began to shoot at her after she went to investigate the noise, so she ran toward the house and hid outside by the porch, the affidavit says. She reported being hit by pieces of debris while bullets struck the building. The first caller, who ran into the bathroom after getting inside the house, later heard her wife yelling to be let inside from the backdoor.

Both victims reported having a difficult time breathing inside the house because it was engulfed in flames, the affidavit says. The couple ran from their backdoor to a neighboring area.

Miller wrote that both callers, when located by troopers, said they believed Beyering to be upset about a dispute involving firewood. The couple said they have known Beyering — one for about five months and the other for about 20 years — and that Beyering briefly lived at the residence with them.

Beyering is facing eight charges related to the incident, according to the Alaska Court System, including two counts of attempted murder in the first degree, arson in the first degree, criminal mischief in the first degree, criminal trespass in the first degree, misconduct involving weapons in the second degree, misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree and violating conditions of release.

Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell during a Monday afternoon press conference with Gov. Mike Dunleavy described Beyering as “extremely armed” and “a danger to the public.” Cockrell said that the Alaska State Troopers spent between 14 and 15 hours looking for Beyering, but were not able to capture him.

“We believe he’s heavily armed and will not hesitate to take the life of another person including a law enforcement officer,” Cockrell said Monday.

KPB Alerts, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management’s emergency alert system, said Monday that Beyering is believed to be driving a maroon 2008 Ford Expedition with stickers on the back of the vehicle and a damaged headlight on the passenger side. The license plate is No. FLD670.

Beyering is described as being 5 feet, 9 inches tall and about 140 pounds with light blond hair and blue eyes. He is described as armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees Beyering should not approach him and should immediately call the Soldotna Dispatch Center at 907-262-4453 or 9-1-1.

Updates are being shared by KPB Alerts, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management’s emergency alert system.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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