Man threatens campers with harpoon, is shot dead by State Trooper at Kasilof Beach on Kenai Peninsula

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One unhinged Alaska man brought a knife to a gunfight. Or rather, a harpoon. It didn’t end well for him.

Just after midnight on Monday, Alaska State Troopers were informed that a man wielding a sword was threatening to kill people on South Kasilof Beach on the Kenai Peninsula, where Alaskans are engaged in their annual personal-use dip-netting for salmon.

State Troopers and Wildlife Troopers responded to the area and located the man near several tents. When they drove up to the area, a man pointed a 7-foot harpoon at them and charged the Troopers’ marked patrol vehicle. The man initially retreated after Troopers ordered him to step back.

When the Troopers got out of their vehicle, the man charged at them again, still brandishing the harpoon, which was the kind of harpoon one might use in halibut fishing.

The harpoon man just wasn’t getting the point of the officers’ commands, apparently, and a Trooper discharged his firearm. The man took a bullet and fell.

Despite lifesaving attempts by Troopers and emergency medics, the man was declared dead at the scene. His body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. Next-of-kin notifications are in progress, and his identity will be released once notifications have been made. 

No other campers were injured in the incident.

Alaska State Troopers are sharpshooters. Last month, they won the annual “The Shoot” competition with Canadian Mounties.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation assumed case responsibility and is investigating the incident. Once their investigation is complete, it will be referred to the Office of Special Prosecutions for independent review. The Trooper who discharged his firearm has been placed on 72 hours of administrative leave in accordance with Department of Public Safety policy. The officer’s name will be released publicly in 72 hours.

Dip-netting opened at Kasilof in June and continues through early August.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Kasilof, Kalifonski, Clam Gulch, on down to Anchor Point, it’s burn out capitol of Alaska. Lots of former drug users and alcoholics. This man could have been younger and a product of fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal drug syndrome from their parents abusive behavior with substances. Very sad!

      • He was 67 and crazy. Do a little research, what you’ll see in Courtview and other public sources is merely a sliver.

        Soon as you get south of K-Beach Road, things and people get bizarre on the Kenai Peninsula.

        • I live on the central peninsula, I was just responding to the “This man could have been younger and a product of fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal drug syndrome from their parents abusive behavior with substances.” By informing him of his age.

          Not sure what “do a little research” has to do with anything. I grew up in Sterling, lived in Nikiski, Soldotna, K-Beach, Kasilof, and now Funny River.

    • You must never go to the beach Mary. There’s lots of nice folks, families with children, hard working citizens who also use those same beaches. Your ignorant comments don’t help.

      • There are some decent people that go to the beaches down there, but I’d say she’s pretty spot on.

        There’s a sliver of normalcy around Ninilchik, but the rest is a crapshoot.

        • Everywhere has it’s whackjobs, and I wouldn’t say those places are any worse than the rest of the peninsula/Alaska

        • Agree with Mary. Alaska’s banana belt grows some pretty awesome weed. A stoner’s delight. Lots of drinking too. Ninilchik is a historic and cherished old Russian neighborhood. And the little church on the hill with the graveyard is postcard beautiful. Then there’s Homer. Another pretty place where old liberals and Democrats with large inheritances go to die.

  2. Good shoot. The entire planet knows the rules about brandishing weapons in front of US law enforcement. Regardless, expect weeping and gnashing of teeth from the professional outrage community any moment now.

  3. Harpoon? Makes me have soon many more questions….
    How drunk or high was this suspect?????
    Unlike APD, when Troopers shoot someone….They are removed from the gene pool.
    As they should be..using a harpoon on land with people who have guns….Solid plan Einstein

    APD…take notes.

  4. Life isn’t a video game, you can’t simply hit the reset button.
    A great example of the concept of “consequences” … FAFO!

  5. He could have been hunting for a beluga or a lost humpback. Probably a first for AST. A pissed off harpoonist who was looking for a big catch.

  6. There had to be a series of bad choices leading up to this. To those of us spared thus far, take note for yourself and your loved ones!

    • Ya Brian the trooper had a tazer and chose to execute the guy instead. Nothing good comes from most of this. The state will investigate the state and gee what do you suppose they will find.??

      • Wow.

        Yeah, allow me to rush at you with a heavy spear while you try to stop me with a device that is ineffective over 90% of the time.

        Tasers aren’t magic like you see on Youtube. You don’t see videos for the ten failed applications for every one that works.

        LE has rules they go by regarding use of force and most of them have seen tasers not be effective. I could tell you why no one in his right mind would attempt it in those circumstances but I doubt you’d care.

        What’s next? Why didn’t AST use a nerf gun or why didn’t they retreat and leave?

  7. A local cop shot a fellow a couple of years back in Kotzebue for doing something very similar with a knife.
    When a cop tells you to drop your harpoon, drop your harpoon!

  8. Did they try a taser or bear spray?
    Are AK troopers trigger happy?
    The citizens being threatened did not shoot him and you can bet many were armed.
    Why did the trooper?

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