ANCHORAGE (AP) — A man armed with a baseball bat was shot and killed Friday by a state trooper after failing to stop for a traffic signal violation and leading law enforcement on a chase that closed a major highway, authorities said.
The man was shot after advancing on three troopers while carrying the raised bat, Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. An initial report said the man was killed in an exchange of gunfire, but Ipsen said that report was wrong. She said the man was not carrying a gun.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was shot about 4:20 a.m. near the Thunderbird Falls exit of the highway that connects Anchorage to Wasilla.
The shooting resulted in a temporary shutdown of the highway in both directions. The southbound lanes were reopened but rush-hour traffic going into Anchorage was backed up for miles.
Troopers said they tried to stop a car in downtown Wasilla around 4 a.m. after the driver failed to signal it was turning onto Parks Highway. The driver didn’t stop and spike strips were deployed. One tire was deflated, but the driver kept going, troopers said.
Law enforcement chased it onto Glenn Highway as it headed south toward Anchorage.
As the car neared the Thunderbird Falls exit, it caught on fire and the driver stopped in the southbound lane, got out and ran toward the northbound lane. Attempts to subdue him, including the use of a Taser, were unsuccessful, troopers said.
The man stopped then moved toward authorities with the raised bat before he was shot and died at the scene, troopers said.
The name of the trooper involved in the shooting won’t be released for 72 hours in accordance with department policy.