FBI looks into Fairbanks shooting

Posted: Sunday, November 05, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) The FBI has launched its own investigation into the police shooting of Corwin Vent in Fairbanks Sunday night.

The agency is trying to determine if the 22-year-old man's civil rights were violated, according to KTVF station in Fairbanks.

Vent was shot and killed by Fairbanks Police Officer Perry Williamson after an hour-long chase through the city. Deputy Police Chief James Welch has said that Williamson was justified in the shooting.

Police said Williamson fired when Vent drove a van into the officer after being told to stop.

At the time of the shooting there were outstanding warrants out for Vent's arrest.

Four Alaska Native organizations, including Tanana Chiefs Conference and Doyon Ltd., expressed outrage Friday at the death of Vent, an Alaska Native. At a press conference in Fairbanks, the organizations called the killing ''extreme.''

FBI spokesman Eric Gonzales said it's not unusual for the agency to get involved in a case like this, although he couldn't recall another such investigation in Fairbanks.

The Vent investigation is expected to last three weeks. Information collected will be forwarded to the Department of Justic to see if Williamson violated federal civil rights laws, Gonzales said.

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