A woman was wounded by an Alaska State Trooper after an exchange of gunfire on the Sterling Highway near Anchor Point Sunday night.
Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters says the shooting began Sunday evening on the Sterling Highway near Happy Valley – about 10 miles north of Anchor Point – after Troopers received multiple calls from motorists concerning the erratic driving of a yellow SUV.
At about 6:15 p.m., an Alaska Wildlife Trooper saw the SUV headed northbound on the highway and attempted to pull the driver over. When the vehicle stopped, the female driver suddenly pulled a gun and began shooting at the officer, who immediately returned fire.
The driver then sped off, stopping again in the middle of the road at about Mile 147. Troopers from the Anchor Point and Soldotna posts, along with Homer Police Department officers and members of the Southcentral Emergency Response Team, responded to the scene. It is not clear if the officers continued to exchange gunfire with the suspect at that point but Peters says that after about 30 minutes, the driver put her hands outside her vehicle and officers were able to apprehend her without further violence.
Peters says the driver was discovered to have an apparent gunshot wound to her torso and was taken to South Peninsula in Homer for treatment before being transported to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.
Troopers are being tight-lipped on details of the incident. Peters says they have identified the suspect but have yet to release her name. As of Monday afternoon, she had not been arrested nor charged with a crime.
Peters confirms that a gun was found in the suspect’s vehicle, along with several spent shell casings. She says the Trooper’s vehicle appears to have been stuck by at least one round fired from the suspect and investigators believe the suspect’s gunshot wound was from the trooper who returned fire.
The trooper’s name will be released following a three-day administrative leave, as per department policy.
The Sterling Highway was closed in both directions for several hours Sunday night because of the incident, reopening at about midnight.
The Alaska Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the incident.