Wainwright man killed by North Slope police officer

Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A 19-year-old Wainwright man was shot and killed by a North Slope Borough police officer.

Alaska State Troopers said Monday that Jason Tagarook was taken to the village clinic after being shot early Sunday morning. Investigators say they will not release the name of the officer involved until Tuesday.

Troopers said they were notified shortly after the shooting by the borough's acting police chief, Capt. Greg Venable. A trooper investigator from Fairbanks was in the village Monday and conferring with borough police back in Barrow.

Troopers said the shooting was in the officer's line of duty, but had no further details about how the shooting occurred Monday afternoon.

Wainwright is an Inupiat whaling village of about 540 on the Chukchi Sea coast, about 85 miles southwest of Barrow. The victim's father is the village postmaster, according to Ilak School principal Bob Thompson.

Thompson described Tagarook as a talented young man, skilled in Native subsistence ways.

''Jason was well-liked by both adults and his peers,'' Thompson said of his former student. ''He was friendly and kind-hearted. The village is grieving right now.''

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