Fairbanks police fatally shoot man after high-speed chase, ramming

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks police fatally shot a 22-year-old man over the weekend after he led them on a pursuit lasting more than an hour.

Corwin L. Vent was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead Sunday evening, police said.

Vent was shot around 5:20 p.m. at the intersection of Airport Way and Cowles Street. That came after Vent hit an officer with the van he was driving, police said.

A female passenger in the vehicle was uninjured.

No officers were hurt in the incident, which left half of Airport Way cordoned off for more than five hours, police said.

Officers originally tried to stop Vent for reckless driving around 4:15 p.m., a written police statement said.

The minivan took off at speeds up to 85 mph when the pursuit began, Fairbanks Police Lt. Dusty Johnson said.

''On Davis Road, the person started going entirely too fast and too erratic and the officers broke off the pursuit.''

Fairbanks Police require that a chase be ended if an officer believes it's becoming hazardous.

Dispatchers, however, continued receiving calls about a van driving recklessly in the Fairbanks area, the police statement said.

Officers located the van again, which led them on another pursuit through the downtown area and back onto Airport Way, the statement said.

''As the van approached the intersection of Airport and Cowles, a Fairbanks police officer positioned his vehicle to block the intersection.''

Witness Jennifer Grundy, 30, was there when the pursuit ended. An officer had pulled his vehicle across the intersection, she said.

''He was looking past me and saying 'Stop,' and then I looked in my rearview (mirror) and saw all kinds of lights,'' Grundy said.

The van then drove between her vehicle and another parked at the intersection, scraping the driver's side of her car, Grundy said. She reported seeing a female passenger and what looked like a male driving the vehicle.

Grundy said the van, going slowly, hit the officer.

''He was plastered on the front of the van,'' she said.

After blocking the intersection, the officer got out of his cruiser and directed the driver to stop several times, the police statement said.

''When the van continued forward and made contact with the officer, the officer fired three rounds through the front windshield at the driver,'' the statement said.

The van continued forward until it hit the parked patrol car, police said.

Vent had felony and misdemeanor warrants outstanding for his arrest, officers said.

Police would not comment beyond the written statement, which did not indicate what the warrants were for, who owned the van Vent was driving or whether alcohol had been a factor in the incident.

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