Mat-Su teen charged with killing his aunt and cousins was recently out of jail

An Alaska State Trooper cruiser parked on Nome’s Front Street in January 2015.
An Alaska State Trooper cruiser. (Matthew Smith/KNOM)

A Mat-Su teenager has been charged with killing his aunt and three cousins in Palmer and Wasilla Monday.

Tuesday afternoon, 18-year-old Malachi Maxon was charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, as well as one count of attempted murder and trying to escape from law enforcement.

RELATED: Four dead, including two children, in Mat-Su homicide

Alaska State Troopers responded to the first shooting shortly after 3:00 am Monday.  A Trooper affidavit said 18-year-old Cody Roehl, Maxon’s cousin, had been shot at a home near Wasilla, but was still alive when Troopers arrived.  The affidavit stated Maxon was at the home earlier in the evening, and that there had been no verbal or physical altercations while he was there.  Roehl was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

A white Jeep Liberty and a Glock pistol were reported missing from the scene of the shooting, and video surveillance of the home shows the jeep leaving a few minutes after 3:00.

According to the affidavit, Troopers discovered that Maxon was under pre-trial electronic monitoring for a domestic violence charge.  He had been released from jail a week prior to the shootings. Troopers determined Maxon was at a residence on North Valley Way in Palmer just after 3:30 am.  Around that same time, Palmer Police Department received multiple calls reporting gunshots in the area.

While searching the home in Palmer, law enforcement officers found that three more people had been shot.  Maxon’s aunt, 43-year-old Kimora Buster, as well as his cousins, 7-year-old Ellison Buster and 10-year-old Sienna Buster died from their injuries.  A third child was also at the home, but was uninjured.  Troopers say evidence at the scene indicates Maxon attempted to shoot the third child, but was unsuccessful.

Troopers, along with Wasilla and Anchorage Police later stopped Maxon on the Glenn Highway, and he was arrested without incident.  While being transported, the Trooper affidavit states Maxon attempted to escape by running to nearby trees.  The affidavit says Maxon attempted to pull a Trooper’s gun from its holster, but was unsuccessful.  Maxon was restrained and taken to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.