Investigators say five shots fired in trooper shooting

Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state trooper who shot and killed a Nikiski man near Soldotna over the weekend fired his weapon five times, Alaska State Troopers said Monday in releasing more details from their investigation of the incident.

Trooper Arthur J. Osborn fired his weapon into the car Casey G. Porter was sitting in, troopers said. Three of the bullets struck Porter, 30, in the left upper back and one lodged in his neck, troopers said. The other hit the car.

Troopers said Osborn shot Porter to protect fellow trooper Joseph Whittom.

Porter's family, however, has said Porter was disabled and couldn't have responded quickly to a trooper's demand that he get out of his car early Saturday morning.

The shooting occurred at a pullout on the Sterling Highway, where the Osborn and Whittom had gone in separate cars to investigate a report of a suspicious blue sedan about 2 a.m.

Investigators said when the troopers arrived, Osborn pulled his vehicle nose to nose within 10 feet of Porter's Mazda, while Whittom stopped near the exit of the pullout, partially blocking the exit. When Osborn flashed his car lights, Porter reportedly pulled out around the trooper's Ford Expedition.

Osborn got out of his car and ordered Porter to stop, which Porter did after going about 40 feet, troopers said. Osborn repeatedly told Porter to show his hands, but Porter did not comply, so the trooper fired pepper spray into the car, investigators said.

Porter turned his head away, and the spray hit him mostly in the back of the head, troopers said. Porter's Mazda began moving toward Whittom, who drew his gun, according to troopers.

At this time, Osborn opened fire. The Mazda rolled forward and hit one of the patrol cars and Whittom, who was not hurt.

Troopers said neither officer recognized Porter at the time, but he was known to authorities. Troopers said when they saw him last he was able to use a cane to walk.

After Saturday's shooting, troopers found a cane in Porter's car.

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