Homer man kills himself with trooper's gun

Alaska State Troopers said a Homer man fatally shot himself with a trooper’s handgun after a struggle following a domestic violence assault call Wednesday night.

A woman called troopers at 10:17 p.m. to report that her ex-boyfriend had assaulted her at her residence on East End Road and she had left the scene in a vehicle, according to a Thursday trooper dispatch. While troopers were in route, the assailant, identified as Aaron Michael Rael-Catholic, 24, rammed his vehicle into the woman’s vehicle at about Mile 4 of East End Road.

Rael-Catholic exited his vehicle and a fight broke out between him and a trooper who arrived on scene, according to the report.

The trooper used pepper spray and a Taser in an attempt to apprehend the suspect, but the two ended up wrestling on the ground.

During the altercation, “preliminary information is that Rael-Catholic obtained possession of the trooper’s pistol and fatally shot himself,” the dispatch said.

Specific actions of how the fatal gunshot wound occurred remained under review, according to the report. An autopsy by the State Medical Examiner’s Office is expected later this week. 

The trooper was not injured and the woman victim was taken to South Peninsula Hospital for evaluation, according to the report.

The Alaska State Troopers Alaska Bureau of Investigation is handling an investigation of the entire incident.

The name of the trooper will be withheld for 72 hours, according to the report.

 

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com


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