Assistant District Attorney Killed In Barrow

A state attorney was shot and killed in Barrow last night.

Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Law’s Criminal Division Rick Svobodny says Brian Sullivan was killed some time before midnight. Barrow police are leading the investigation.

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“It’s a progression, doing one thing to another, the information changes so I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about their investigation until they complete it,” he said.

Svobodny confirmed that Sullivan had worked for the state since the spring of 2012. He had been a military attorney for the Army for 10 years previously.

“When I interviewed him actually for a job he was interested in moving to a rural community because he had served in the military overseas in the middle east and enjoyed being in a place with a different culture so he wanted to experience an Alaska Native community and specifically requested to go to Barrow,” Svobodny said.

Svobodny says he was called at midnight. He says the shooting happened around 11 p.m.

“It was after a sporting event at the local school, because I know one the local police officers saw him there so the time frame was around 11,” Svobodny said.

Svobodny said Sullivan was not shot at the school event but he would not confirm where the shooting had taken place.

Svobodny said Sullivan was 49-years-old at the time of his death and was not currently married.

He said he expects a charging document will be out later Tuesday.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori