Troopers: Seward man fatally shot 2 men in van

Troopers: Seward man fatally shot 2 men in van

Joseph Chandler Jr. is being held in the Monday shootings

  • By RACHEL D’ORO Associated Press
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019 10:06pm
  • NewsCrime

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.

More in News

Photo provided by United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Chugachmiut Board Vice Chair Larry Evanoff from Chenega, Chair Fran Norman from Port Graham, and Director Arne Hatch from Qutekcak break ground for the Chugachmiut Regional Health Center in Seward, June 3. The occasion marked the start of construction of the $20 million facility. The 15,475-square-foot tribally owned and operated health clinic will serve as a regional hub providing medical, dental and behavioral health services for Alaskans in seven tribal communities.
Ground broken for new regional health center in Seward

The tribally owned and operated facility will serve as a regional hub providing medical, dental and behavioral health care

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Kasilof River personal use gillnet fishery closed

It’s the Kenai River optimal escapement goal, not a Kasilof River escapement goal, that is cited by the announcement as triggering the close

The Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is seen on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai cuts ties with out-of-state marketing firm

Council members expressed skepticism about the firm’s performance

A firefighter from Cooper Landing Emergency Services refills a water tanker at the banks of the Kenai River in Cooper Landing, Alaska on Aug. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Cooper Landing voters to consider emergency service area for region

The community is currently served by Cooper Landing Emergency Services

Hundreds gather for the first week of the Levitt AMP Soldotna Music Series on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna music series kicks off with crowds, colors and sunshine

A color run took off ahead of performances by Blackwater Railroad Company and BenJammin The Jammin Band

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Finance Director Liz Hayes, left, testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly during a budget work session on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly passes borough budget

The document fully funds borough schools and includes a decrease in property taxes

The George A. Navarre Kenai Peninsula Borough building. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Assembly shrinks borough planning commission

The planning commission is responsible for planning the “systemic development and betterment” of the borough

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Russian River Campground reopens for 2 summer months

Reservations for campsites can be made online

Kristin Lambert testifies in support of funding for the Soldotna Senior Center during an assembly meeting on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
After leadership change, borough funds Soldotna senior center

The Soldotna City Council in May voted to defund the center for the upcoming fiscal year

Most Read