Former village police officer charged in Stebbins shooting

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A former village police officer has been charged Wednesday with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the shooting of the mayor of Stebbins.

Robert ''Robbie'' Tea, 20, is charged with providing a rifle and ammunition to two juveniles accused of attacking Robert Ferris, 55, at his home Saturday.

Ferris was struck in the right cheek, just below his eye, by a .22-caliber bullet. The bullet lodged at the base of his skull near his spine.

Tea was transported to Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome.

Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said Tea was a former village police officer, a person hired by the village for law enforcement duties. The position is different from a village public safety officer, who receives training through the state Department of Public Safety.

Troopers already had taken into custody Travis Snowball, 14, and Richard Martin, 16. Both were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Snowball was remanded to juvenile authorities in Nome. Martin was waived to adult status and is lodged at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center.

Ferris was struck by the bullet as he looked out the window of his home to check on a disturbance Saturday night.

Ferris operates a store out of his home. Troopers said the motive for the shooting may have been robbery.

Ferris is recovering at his home. Troopers said the bullet has not been removed and probably will not be.

Stebbins is on Norton Sound about 120 miles southeast of Nome.

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