Trooper involved in fatal shooting identified

Alaska State Troopers have identified the officer who shot and killed Sterling resident Jon Ployhar during a traffic stop on Saturday.

Trooper John King’s name was withheld for 72 hours after the shooting per Alaska State Troopers policy. King, a nearly two-year veteran of the agency, is stationed with the detachment of troopers who cover the Kenai Peninsula, according to a trooper dispatch.

The department will look at “any and all evidence available” during the investigation of the shooting, Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Megan Peters said in an email.

“We treat these investigations just like any other potential criminal investigation,” she said. “In all of our investigations we are trying to determine what happened and if there is any criminality involved and by whom.”

Once the investigation closes, Peters said the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals will receive the report to decide if the “shooting is a justified use of force.”

“After (the office) makes its determination, the incident is scrutinized further by the Department of Public Safety to determine if any policies or procedures were violated and what can be learned from the incident,” she said. “It is quite a lengthy process.”

King tried to make a traffic stop around mile 82 of the Sterling Highway on Saturday night and ended up pursuing the driver, 49-year-old Sterling resident Ployhar, down Moose River Drive. When Ployhar did stop, troopers say a physical confrontation ended with King pulling his gun and shooting Ployhar, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sterling Brotherhood member Wayne “Froggy” Debnam said Ployhar was one of the Brotherhood members who chased a wanted burglar, Brandon Bernier, into the river and held him in Sterling until troopers got there in August.

Ployhar had a record of charges dating back to 1990 including a mix of minor offenses and misdemeanors, according to Courtview records.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna, borough to continue 911 dispatch partnership

The assembly approved an agreement Tuesday

Alaska State Troopers logo.
ATV accident leaves teen dead in Ninilchik

A 15-year-old girl was driving an ATV with a 14-year-old female passenger

Cook Inlet can be seen at low tide from North Kenai Beach on June 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Comment period on proposed Cook Inlet lease sale opens Friday

Cook Inlet is one of 11 locations described in the department’s Proposed Program for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Pottery pieces are displayed as a part of the Kenai Potters’ Guild July show at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Throwing together

Potters’ Guild artists show off their clay creations

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire
This photo shows boats moored at Don D. Statter Harbor on a recent sunny day. According to statistics recently release by the U.S. Coast Guard, boating accidents were down in Alaska in 2021.
Boating fatalities trending down for 2021

Numbers met expectations, said safety instructors

Fishermen took to the mouth of the Kasilof River for opening day of dipnetting, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion file)
Kasilof dipnetting expanded, sockeye catch upped

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued multiple advisory announcements for sport anglers and dipnetters

Signs warn Fred Meyer customers to prepay if they thing they may go over limits while pumping gas on Friday, March 11, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Analysis: Inflation is up in Alaska

Alaska’s 2021 average inflation rate was the largest annual price increase since 1990

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

Most Read