AST Charge Wasilla Teen with Murder in Shooting Death of Wasilla 16-Year-Old

An arrest has been made in the shooting death of 16-year-old Frank Woodford, pictured here. Image-Woodford family/

An arrest has been made in the shooting death of 16-year-old Frank Woodford, pictured here. Image-Woodford family/

Alaska State Troopers today, announced that they had arrested Damien Peterson on charges of Murder II for his alleged part in the death of 16-year-old Frank Woodford, who died from a gunshot wound to the chest just after midnight on June 27th.

AST officers responded to the scene to find Woodford on the floor of a downstairs bedroom at the residence with what would be a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

Trooper Jared Noll spoke with the teen, who initially said he didn’t know, But, when asked again, he revealed to Noll that he did not shoot himself.

 When told that his wound was fatal by medics at the scene, and that authorities needed to know what happened, he once again said that he did not shoot himself.

Woodford was flown to a hospital in Anchorage, where he was later pronounced deceased.

During the investigation into the fatal shooting, troopers said that the “property custodian,” as well as several teens were at the residence at the time of the shooting, but the teens initially fled the scene, only to later return., a second subject was also present, 19-year-old Austin Barrett.

Peterson and a second teen, 19-year-old Austin Barrett, were the only two people who were immediately present when Woodford was shot. both teens gave statements to the investigators. According to the report, Barrett “was looking at a tablet when suddenly he heard a boom.”He looked up to “blood everywhere.”

Peterson said when interviewed, that Woodford picked up the firearm and four to five minutes later, the gun went off.

Investigators listed both teens as suspects in the case, but the case was soon closed pending further leads because of a lack of conclusive evidence.

Troopers did not stipulate or reveal what evidence they had attained to prompt them to reopen the case.

Two days after Woodford’s death, Barrett, and Peterson, along with Petersons brother, Devin Peterson, would be arrested on kidnapping and robbery charges in an incidence that began on Jasper Drive in Wasilla and end at the victim’s home in Eagle River.

Those charges would later be dropped and Damien alone would be charged with Assault II in the case.


It would not end there however. On November 13th, 16-year-old David Grunwald would disappear in Wasilla. The next day, Grunwald’s vehicle would be found burned out. It would be weeks before Grunwald’s bullet-ridden remains would be discovered in a wooded area of Palmer. 

Barrett, along with three others, faces charges of Murder I and II as well as Kidnapping. Devin Peterson has been charged with three counts of Evidence Tampering in the Grunwald case.

The AST Major Crimes Unit is now leading the Woodford Murder case.