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Man killed by Bethel policeman reportedly pointed rifle at officers

Alaska Dispatch

A man killed Tuesday by an officer with the Bethel Police Department had pointed a rifle at officers, according to the department.

In a statement issued Thursday, Bethel police chief Larry Elarton said officers responded to a call about a disturbance at a home at about 9:40 p.m. Tuesday when witnesses outside the residence warned police that a person inside had a gun. 

As officers evacuated two people from the house, police say 24-year-old Sam Alexi Jr. confronted them while holding a rifle. Officers reportedly told Alexi to drop the weapon, but he pointed it at them instead, and one of the officers fired a single shot that killed Alexi. The officer's name was not immediately released.

Bethel police requested assistance from Alaska State Troopers in securing the scene, and three troopers arrived to help. On Wednesday morning, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation arrived to look into the shooting.

In an event unrelated to the shooting, one Bethel police officer slipped on the steps outside the residence and hit the back of his head. At first, the officer reported that he was fine, but was later found unconscious in his police vehicle. He was taken to the hospital with a severe concussion.