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Suspect shot by trooper in Fairbanks

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 24-year-old Fairbanks man was in critical condition Monday after he was shot by an Alaska State Trooper who returned fire in an early-morning incident, troopers report.

Timothy C. Lobdell was out on parole at the time of the incident, after being sentenced to five years in prison in 1998 for pulling a loaded gun on three police officers.

Lobdell was in a stolen 1997 Dodge Neon, trying to free the stuck vehicle near a home a few miles north of the Fairbanks city limits, when a trooper arrived shortly after 4:30 a.m. Monday, said Greg Wilkinson, a spokesman for the troopers.

The officer was responding to a call from a woman who said the car was stuck in her driveway and someone had knocked on her door.

Lobdell ignored the officer's order to stop the car and get out, Wilkinson said. Lobdell continued trying to rock the car and get it going again. Finally the trooper shouted at Lobdell to turn off the engine and get out of the car.

Lobdell then fired a single shot from inside the car. The trooper fired back.

Lobdell got out of the car, carrying the weapon, and took off into the woods.

Troopers organized a search and located Lobdell shortly after 6 a.m. He was then taken to the hospital. They also recovered a weapon, which troopers would not identify.

Troopers have a policy of withholding the name of an officer involved in a shooting for 24 hours after the incident. An investigator with the Alaska State Trooper Criminal Investigation Unit has flown to Fairbanks from Anchorage to continue the investigation, Wilkinson said.

Lobdell was treated for a gunshot wound of the lower abdomen, as well as frostbite and hypothermia.

In Lobdell's most noteworthy encounter with officers, back in July of 1997, he fled from Fairbanks police investigating a report of armed men, then pulled out a small derringer when officers wrestled him to the ground.

While awaiting sentencing the following winter, he disappeared after being released from jail to attend a substance abuse program. Lobdell, who has a distinctive tattoo of an expletive in Gothic script on his left cheek, was apprehended after spending a couple of nights at a Healy motel.

Superior Court Judge Mary Greene sentenced Lobdell to five years in prison after the derringer incident, saying she hoped the sentence would allow him to develop some maturity and insight. She also suspended five additional years of prison time.

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