Teenager in custody after 2 killed, 2 injured during shooting in remote Alaska whaling village

Two people have been killed and two more seriously wounded during a shooting at a home in a remote Inupiat whaling village on Alaska’s northwest coast and a 16-year-old boy is in custody

Mark Thiessen,Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
Tuesday 27 February 2024 16:14 GMT

Two people were killed and two were seriously wounded during a shooting at a home in a remote Inupiat whaling village on Alaska’s northwest coast and a 16-year-old boy was in custody Monday, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Details were slow to emerge about Sunday's shooting in Point Hope, which shook the small community and prompted a local school's closure on Monday.

The newspaper, citing court documents, reported that the teenage suspect has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree attempted murder. State law allows minors 16 and older to be tried in adult court on murder charges.

The newspaper's reporting was based on a summary of a police report included in charging documents filed in court Monday.

Officers from the North Slope Borough Police Department responded to the home after 11:30 p.m. Sunday and discovered a man and a woman dead, as well as two wounded men, the newspaper wrote. All four appeared to have been shot.

One witness told police she'd seen the boy go into the home and start shooting, the newspaper wrote. Other witnesses said they saw the teen leave with a handgun.

The boy turned himself in at the local police station, accompanied by his father, around 11:45 p.m. Sunday, according to the newspaper.

While officials said there was no ongoing risk to the community, they declined to give specifics about what had occurred. Phones rang unanswered at both village and tribal offices in Point Hope on Monday.

Sayers Tuzroyluk, Sr., chairman of the Tikigaq Corporation Board of Directors, and North Slope Borough spokesperson Araina Danner also would not discuss the shooting.

“In the days ahead, we will come together as a community to heal and support one another,” the North Slope Borough said in a statement posted to social media.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he and his wife, Rose, were devasted by the “tragic shooting shooting.”

“Our hearts ache for the families and residents affected by this senseless act,” he wrote on Facebook, “We will continue to pray for healing and justice.”

Point Hope, with a population of about 675, was built on a triangular spit surrounded by a large inlet and the Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean. It is located about 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage.

The peninsula where Point Hope is located is one of the longest continually inhabited areas of North America, with some of its earliest residents crossing the Siberian land bridge about 2,000 years ago for bowhead whaling, the borough website said.

Russia is about 200 miles (322 kilometers) to the west of Point Hope, across the Chukchi Sea.


Kelleher reported from Honolulu.

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