Troopers: Seward man fatally shot 2 men in van

Joseph Chandler Jr. is being held in the Monday shootings

ANCHORAGE — A Seward man charged with two counts of first-degree murder told authorities he fatally shot two men inside their van after an argument broke out when he told them to leave the property, according to court documents.

Joseph Chandler Jr. is being held in the Monday shootings that killed Dustin Marx, 28, and Michael White, 40, in the small port community of Seward about 120 miles south of Anchorage.

An affidavit by Alaska State Trooper John King said Chandler called troopers shortly after 6 p.m. Monday to report he shot and killed the men.

When King arrived, he said he was going to check on the two men and asked Chandler if he confirmed they were dead.

Chandler replied, “I shot Dustin Marx in the head and I expended the rest of my magazine into Michael White as he was scurrying” from the front seat to the back of the van, according to the affidavit.

“I presumed to execute Michael White as he was reaching for something,” Chandler told the trooper.

Chandler, 30, also told King the Seward men were “not supposed to be on the property,” according to a court affidavit by King. The men spoke for up to 20 minutes and got into a heated conversation, according to the trooper, who wrote that Marx called Chandler names, “made verbal threats and ‘gestures’ with his hands in his pockets.”

“I asked Chandler if there was something specific in the incident that caused him to draw his gun, and he indicated it was when Marx said he would kill him ‘eventually,’” King wrote. He said no weapons were found in the van.

No attorney is listed for Chandler in online court records. Chandler made a first appearance in state court Tuesday morning, but the Kenai District Attorney’s office, which handles Seward cases, didn’t immediately return phone calls to The Associated Press with the outcome of the hearing.

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