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Police release details on shooting

Posted: July 24, 2013 - 9:43am  |  Updated: July 24, 2013 - 2:49pm

The Kenai Police Department has released details of Tuesday night’s shooting at Home Depot.
 
According to a press release, Ezekiel Johnston, 25, of Kenai, allegedly shot Cole Sprinkle, 23, of Wasilla, three times with a handgun inflicting life-threatening injuries.
 
Johnston called 911 at about 6:30 p.m. and told dispatch he was being chased by someone who was going to beat him up.
 
While officers were responding to Johnston’s call, multiple 911 calls were received about a shooting in the Home Depot parking lot.
 
Police found that Sprinkle had been the occupant of a white Chevy pickup and was pursuing Johnston who was driving a Honda car.
 
According to the release, the chase ended in the Home Depot parking lot where Sprinkle exited the pickup and attempted to get in the driver’s side of the Honda. When he couldn’t gain entry, Sprinkle smashed the driver’s side window with his fist. Johnston allegedly shot Sprinkle three times during that altercation.
 
Sprinkle was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital and is being treated for his injuries.
 
Lt. David Ross said no arrests have been made, and the investigation in ongoing.
 
The release asks that the owner of a blue Ford pickup that may have been parked close to the scene of the shooting call the Kenai Police Department at 907-283-7879.

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aspiecelia
115
Points
aspiecelia 07/24/13 - 12:29 pm
6
9
Hmmm

Johnston should have driven immediately to the police station while calling 911 to let them know he was coming if he was being threatened and pursued. That way Sprinkles or Sparkles or whatever from Wasilla most likely would have left and Johnston could have told the police what was going on. If his story is true they had enough to charge and arrest him. Stopping your car when someone plans to beat you up makes no sense. Why did he stop his car at a hardware store? My guess is the issue is drugs.

Kenai
65
Points
Kenai 07/24/13 - 02:05 pm
1
4
Aspiecelia

Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful analysis. We can only hope that you end up on the jury.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/24/13 - 02:39 pm
6
10
Armed vs Un-Armed ?

7/24/13 What ever happened to Armed vs Un-Armed ?

It's my understanding that "Stand Your Ground" only applies when the is no other means to escape the situation. No Way Out. Is that correct ?

Why hasn't the Shooter been Arrested & In Custody ? It's a Mystery to me ??? SPW

SpartanGunner
44
Points
SpartanGunner 07/24/13 - 02:46 pm
4
1
Clueless

Was the car supposed to stop at the stop light? Was it supposed to keep speeding through town? You weren't there.

Even The Clarion can't seem to report what the police told them correctly. Nice work.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/24/13 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Spartan Gunner

7/24/13 Are You a Veteran of the 4thBCT "The Spartans" ?

Welcome Home Our Airborne Warrior Welcome Home

SPW "Airborne"

SpartanGunner
44
Points
SpartanGunner 07/24/13 - 03:22 pm
2
0
not a veteran

I am not a veteran, but I appreciate all they have done and continue to do for our country.

mrs_kimple@yahoo.com
14
Points
mrs_kimple@yahoo.com 07/24/13 - 03:39 pm
6
1
Not enough info.

Aspiecelia, It seems to me that they haven't released enough details in this case to make such a presumptuous comment.

corinnep
292
Points
corinnep 07/24/13 - 04:16 pm
6
8
I'm very concerned that the

I'm very concerned that the Kenai Police Department did not arrest the shooter. I don't care what the shooter says happened, when a person fires a gun in a public place they should be arrested and their gun confiscated to protect the public. Figure out who is at fault later, protect the public first.

trish28
5
Points
trish28 07/24/13 - 04:53 pm
3
1
Are your comments really necessary?

As a member of a family that went through a tragedy recently in the Kenai / Soldotna area, I'd like to ask all of the negative commenters: is it really that important for your OPINION be heard at the expense of a family that is already in crisis? What if it was your child or friend in this situation? There are real people and families involved in this. Take a second before you post to think of how you would want to be treated in this situation.

Suss
4025
Points
Suss 07/24/13 - 04:57 pm
7
5
Corinnep "fires a gun"

"SHOULD BE ARRESTED" you have to do something wrong to be arrested! No one knows until the facts are available. Trust in the system is difficult, yet hold on to the belief that somebody smarter than you is in charge, I know it is a leap of faith, and most times everyone is wrong at first blush. When you see and learn the evidence, take a step back, look again and only then you might be able to make an informed and intelligent decision about what has happened. Oh, by the way there is a video.

Suss
4025
Points
Suss 07/24/13 - 05:09 pm
6
1
Aspiecelia "issue is drugs"

Do not project your life issues on to this situation. Until you have the facts let us assume you might be ignorant of the details.

steelhorse
48
Points
steelhorse 07/24/13 - 10:38 pm
5
1
Sounds like it could very well be justified

And as for driving straight away to KPD, really, how's the going to help in the long run?

Unless they caught the chaser in the act of assault the chase vehicle would almost certainly have kept on going past the cop shop and lurked until they saw the Honda back on the road where they would engage again.

When a menace like that hunts you down and traps you in the parking lot and then smashes in your window to get at you, all that leads is for any reasonable person to believe they are in severe danger.

Most who just want to get into a fight do NOT go to those extreme and intense lengths to engage an adversary.

Can any of you imagine yourself or a loved one or a family member in that very same predicament and what you might do to protect them?

I'm personally going to wait until more information is made available before forming a final opinion but t first glance this looks like someone being terrorized acting in self defense.

BigRedDog
670
Points
BigRedDog 07/25/13 - 04:40 am
1
0
Where is my Gun

There are people, who through size, strength, or even reputation are VERY intimidating. If you happen to be of that stature learn from this! I know people who are SO bad to the bone, strong, huge, and talented; that the average person if threatened simply thinks "Where is my Gun". This kind of incident may not warrant deadly force to some observers. But you never can tell what's going to happen if you make a habit of threatening someone with physical violence. You might scare the crap out of the wrong old boy.
With the"stand your ground" issues in current national headlines it's a mute point. A lot of shootings of this type are only a one sided story, meaning the attacker died from the injuries. It has been my experience in life, that the most scary bad to the bone folks you just really shouldn't EVER mess with are really nice, polite, friendly, folks. Because they have to be or somebody will just shoot them! There is a responsibility that come with being a powerful person. You cannot abuse others as Karma will catch up sooner or later.

Media Critic
87
Points
Media Critic 07/25/13 - 06:09 am
1
0
Darwinism in action

I got curious and looked up the victim on Facebook. One of his most recent posts was a sarcastic photo of President Obama supposedly complaining about Alaskans: "They're scary people with scary guns." Guess Sprinkle should have kept that in mind.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/25/13 - 07:08 am
6
6
Two Sides

7/25/13 Once again, there are 2 sides to each & every story. We have only heard from One Side of the Story. We have not heard from Mr. Sprinkles. He is the UN-ARMED Person that is now in the Hospital with 3 Gun Shot Wounds. Everyone that has posted here is assuming that Mr. Sprinkles is a Guilty Aggressor in the situation. The Shooter without a single injury & only a broken window is ARMED & Pulled the Trigger not once but three times. here's the shocking part, the Shooter has NOT been Arrested ?

SPW

mooseguy
20
Points
mooseguy 07/25/13 - 07:55 am
5
0
Two sides

How do you know Mr. Sprinkles was un-armed? I haven't heard if he was or wasn't. When Mr. Johnston made the 911 call maybe the police still had him on the phone and was listening how things were unfolding. How do you know Mr. Johnston wasn't injured prior to the shooting? There seems to be a lot of reading between the lines. Maybe there were other passengers in Mr Johnstons car when the incident took place. The police must have their reasons for not making an arrest. If the police thought Mr Johnston was at fault at the time of the shooting they would have hauled him away from the scene.

Suss
4025
Points
Suss 07/25/13 - 08:47 am
4
0
Three Sides

His story, their story and much, much later the true story. What needs mentioning is the remarkable response and treatment of Cole Sprinkles by Kenai Fire and CPH Emergency Department. We are very fortunate to have these trained and qualified personnel available to our community. A big shout out for a well done job is due to these fine folks.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/25/13 - 10:15 am
4
3
The Unknown ?

7/25/13 MooseGuy, Yes You are correct. There is so much that is NOT known in this situation. But that is my point, everyone is assuming that Mr Sprinkles is the aggressor & we have NOT heard his side of the story.

WHY was the Shooter released & not arrested ? You only have the statement from the Shooter ? It's a Mystery to Me?
SPW

Suss
4025
Points
Suss 07/25/13 - 10:34 am
3
0
SPW

There was more than the shooter and the person shot present at the event. There is also a video from Home Depot, along with a 911 recording. Cole Sprinkles was talking with the police; his girlfriend was talking with the police. I hope that this matter is given the serious scrutiny it deserves. Please be patient and let the process unfold, as there is no public need for a hasty knee jerk response.

Akrover
7
Points
Akrover 07/25/13 - 10:50 am
5
0
There are still way too many

There are still way too many details missing to pass any kind of judgment of who was at fault or if he shooting was justified. We can agree that at this point KPD felt it was a justified shooting which is why the shooter was not arrested. As they get more information they can arrest him later if they feel it is necessary.

I will say that Mr. Sprinkle breaking the window was a clear sign of aggression and it is easy to see where the shooter believe he was in danger. A person does not punch through a car window to talk to you.

mooseguy
20
Points
mooseguy 07/25/13 - 10:58 am
4
2
The unknown

Spw. You will have to ask the police why they released the shooter. Could it be, they released him because after their initial investigation, talking to witnesses, listening to the 911 call and possible video, they felt he was defending himself and any other passenger in the vehicle. Yes we have only one statement from one person, but the police have their reasons and evidence for not making an arrest at the scene. How do we know they didn't get a statement from Mr. Sprinkle before he went to the ER. The police must of decided an arrest wasn't warranted at the time and that Mr. Johnston was defending himself. After their initial investigation if they thought Mr. Johnston was at fault, they would have hauled him off.
We have reason to believe Mr. Sprinkle was the aggressor. According to the 911 call Mr Johnston was being chased in a car and Mr. Sprinkle threatened to beat him up. They ended in Home Depot parking lot and Mr. Sprinkle busted his driver side window to gain access to Mr. Johnston. If that isn't aggressive I don't know what is. This all came from the police report.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/25/13 - 02:27 pm
4
1
Lessons Learned

Thur 7/25/13 If I did Learn a few things while serving on 7 petite Jury Duty & 3 Grand Jury Duty There is ALWAYS another side to the story. The Prosecution,s side & the Defence side.
You start out thinking that You have this Case Solved, This Guy is Guilty Case Over. Then the Defence presents their evidence & there can be some very Shocking New Evidence that proves yet another side of the story.
Always wait to hear both sides of the story. We have only heard one side of this story.
Thanks for Listening SPW

Allen
641
Points
Allen 07/25/13 - 03:20 pm
6
8
Discharging A Firearm Within the City Limits Is Unlawful

Kenai Municipal Code 13.15.010:

It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm within the City limits not specifically designated by Council as being a proper place for the discharge of firearms. It is unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm in any place within the City limits other than in an area specifically designated in the map marked APPENDIX I and provided in this section. (KMC 13-16; Ords. 262, 419, 1857-2000, 2015-2003)

According to the map, discharging a firearm is not allowed in the Home Depot parking lot. No excuses or exceptions.

jtauriainen
13
Points
jtauriainen 07/25/13 - 03:56 pm
5
4
City Code

It is illegal to speed in Kenai too they don't arrest everyone who gets caught speeding. Throwing out codes like that mean nothing. People do need to chill and stop pointing fingers. I doubt the shooter is a flight risk and they had adequate initial evidence to release him while they finish the investigation. If someone unloaded a clip in my car and I shot back and hospitalized the shooter was I wrong because the Kenai city code says I cannot fire a gun in the city limits. Think before you write.

Suss
4025
Points
Suss 07/25/13 - 05:48 pm
5
4
Violations-Up to a five hundred dollar ($500.00) fine

500 bucks is cheap insurance to stay alive. City Code aside, no one would be so idiotic to think that ordinance would preclude the use of a firearm in an act of self defense, and no one acting in self defense would ever be charged for this violation without an uproar. Common sense just ain't too common anymore, is it Allen?

Tobey
7
Points
Tobey 07/25/13 - 06:22 pm
5
5
Shoulda, coulda, woulda...

I'm so impressed with the experts who comment here, saying with authority that THEY would have handled this stressful situation much more effectively, that is, some stranger- freak harassing you, following you, threatening you and your family for no apparent reason, and then trying to get into your car. And, incredibly, they are legal experts as well!! And what's more, they are able to absolutely assert their supreme knowledge on this case and it's proper outcome based on what they have read in the newspaper or heard from their neighbor. Give me a break!!

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 07/25/13 - 08:49 pm
4
5
City code vs State Law

Allen, you normally tend to be more rational than your above post indicates.
Per the city code; "It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm within the City limits..."
And your addendum: "No excuses, no exceptions."
First, I am not absolutely, but relatively certain that state law trumps municiple code. So "stand your ground" would obviously vacate this discharge of fire arms code in a case of self defense.
Second, if there are truly "No excuses and no exceptions" that means a city police officer can not defend himself with a fire arm within city limits (if we are as literal as you seem to be).
Third, I failed to see the portion of the city code that states "No excuses, no exceptions."
Finally, I do not entirely agree with the Stand Your Ground law as it implies in its very title that you don't have to remove yourself from the situation if at all possible to avoid a deadly confrontation (which is true). In addition, there are legal questions that will come about where two criminals are in such a confrontation and the law may very well protect the criminal in such a case.

JOAT
490
Points
JOAT 07/25/13 - 09:37 pm
9
6
To the plethora of low-information posters around here

The thought of someone like SPW being on a jury frightens the doo out of me. I can't imagine such ignorance being any benefit to our justice system.

Ya'll need to educate yourselves prior to displaying any more of your profound ignorance. Go read some Alaska Statutes in Title 11 for starters. Once you are armed with that knowledge, you may proceed to Monday morning quarterback the life & death decision that a citizen made when he was placed in eminent danger of physical injury or death at the hands of another man's commission of a violent felony.

Start with AS 11.41.220 to see that the bad guy committed a felony during his 3rd degree assault on the man in the car.

Next, go to AS 11.81.335 to find out that the citizen in the car was fully justified in the use of deadly force against the bad guy who was committing a felonious assault upon him.

The police do not arrest people unless there is very clear evidence of a crime. On the surface, with the public information that has been released, the only crime that appears to have been committed was by the guy who is in the hospital (hopefully charges against that guy are being worked up by the DA right now).

The citizen in the car, again with the public information that has been presented to this point, was within his right to self-defense under AS 11.81.335 and therefore NO crime was committed when he discharged his firearm in self-defense. The police were absolutely correct in NOT arresting him.

To all the low-information folks who've posted thus far... a bad guy doesn't need to have a gun to be a violent threat to another. The vast majority of violent assaults are committed with nothing but the hands of the criminal. Any reasonable citizen who was chased down, cornered, and then had some crazed bad guy break out the window of your car would be fully within their rights under AS 11.81.335 of drawing their firearm and shooting the bad guy as many times as it takes to make him stop his violent attack.

Let's repeat that to make it very clear: During a self-defense encounter, a law-abiding gun owner, especially one who has taken any self-defense firearms training through a CCW class or similar self-defensive shooting instruction, knows that you must draw the gun from the holster, point it at the middle of the bad guy's torso, and repeatedly pull the trigger until the bad guy stops doing the activity that caused you to employ lethal force. When a firearm comes out for self-defense, it doesn't matter if you shoot only once or if you shoot 15 times. The outcome will be the same, in that you have to make the bad guy stop.

There is NO argument to lethality based on the number of shots fired. One shot can be instantly lethal. Others can walk away from being shot 15 times. There is no way to pre-judge how many times the gun must be fired, nor how effective any of the bullets will be when (and if) they hit the target.

There is NO way for an average shooter to place a handgun round with pin point precision. At a range of less than 5 yards (where most self-defense shooting happen), the best you can hope for is a "pattern" of inaccuracy of about 12-16 inches in diameter. This is why we teach people to shoot for the middle of the chest. It's the biggest target, so the "misses" may still hit the bad guy, and there is enough critical stuff inside the chest for the bullets to have a decent chance of making the bad guy stop his attack. In the real world, only a very small percentage of people shot with a handgun actually die from the injuries and they are even less effective at making the bad guys stop their activity without multiple hits.

Now, feel free to return to your fantasy comments about how heroic and fearless you would have been in the same situation and how you wouldn't have needed a gun to protect yourself from that violent felon, who I'm sure was just a poor misunderstood member of society who wasn't responsible for his actions.

Have a nice day! Hope you never need to use your gun. ;)

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/25/13 - 11:07 pm
5
3
WoW No change here

7/26/13 JOAT, Well I see that You are still your arrogant self righteous self. No change here. I see your oil corporations have been found Guilty yet again so that must have you so very upset. You are obviously UpSet.

You carry on during your Rant as if You were there when all of this occured.

I make no such claim nor do i bad mouth those Alaskans that offer their opinions on what may have happened. It's called Freedom of Speech.

btw: The Magistrate Judges & the Jury Clerk all made the time to Thank the Jury for a Job Well Done & that included myself. SPW

Allsprucedup
15
Points
Allsprucedup 07/25/13 - 11:20 pm
5
6
Shooting

I think having a gun makes it much easier to forget other options.

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