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Alaska State Trooper who used deadly force in highway chase identified

Alaska Dispatch

Alaska State Troopers announced the name of the trooper involved in the Friday morning Glenn Highway shooting which closed part of the roadway between Anchorage and Wasilla.

Sergeant Paul Anthony "Tony" Wegrzyn, a nine-year veteran of the Alaska State Trooper has been named as responsible for the shot that killed the suspect, 29-year-old Justin Lloyd Abrahamson.

Abrahamson allegedly incited the Friday morning highway chase after troopers attempted to pull him over for failing to signal while turning his 1994 Saturn Coupe onto the highway.

According to troopers, Abrahamson pulled onto the Glenn and sped toward Anchorage with troopers in pursuit. As he neared the Thunderbird Falls exit, the car caught fire and Abrahamson stopped the vehicle.

He then got out of the car wielding a bat and ran toward the opposite lane of traffic. Troopers attempted Tasing him with no effect, but when the man allegedly advanced toward troopers with the raised bat, he was shot.

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reports that this is the first officer-involved shooting for Valley officers in five recent years during which the suspect was not armed with a gun.

The most recent Valley officer-involved shooting happened July 4. Albert Maifea, 35, was shot in the buttocks as he brandished a gun while running from troopers after a police chase. Maifea was re-arrested last week for yet another police chase.

Read more from the Frontiersman, here.