Barrow Fire Department Chief Shot and Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

North Slope Borough Police SUVs in Barrow. (Creative Commons photo by Mack McKinley and Tim Wilson)

North Slope Borough Police SUVs in Barrow. (Creative Commons photo by Mack McKinley and Tim Wilson)

Very little information has been revealed by the Alaska State Troopers and the North Slope Borough Police Department concerning the officer-involved shooting death of  Barrow’s Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief, 36-year-old Vincent Nageak III as of Thursday morning.

A North Slope Borough police officer responded to Nageak’s address on the 7400 block of North Star Street just after 3:30 am on Wednesday morning in response to an officer assistance call. Sometime during the course of that response, Nageak, the son of North Slope Borough Assembly member, Roy Nageak, and nephew of Representative Ben Nageak, was shot and killed. The name of the officer involved will not be released for 72 hours after the incident.

The North Slope police have requested the assistance of the Alaska State Troopers to investigate the incident and investigators with the Alaska Bureau of Investigations has traveled to the scene on Wednesday afternoon to look into the cause and circumstances of the shooting.

Nageak, father of four, and a life-long member of the Barrow community, served in the military, and also worked as a corrections officer for 10 years. He was also serving as the Barrow Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief at the time of his death.

Following the news of his nephew’s death, Representative Ben Nageak (D-Barrow) released a statement, saying:

Our hearts and minds are still reeling from the news that’s been trickling in about my nephew Vincent and my brother Roy. We still don’t know all of the facts. We’re trying to get home to be near and find out what happened. Thank you to those who’ve expressed their support and prayers for our family during this emotional time. We ask for privacy, patience and continued prayers. We hope to talk soon, but want to do so with a better understanding of just what took place.

Nageak’s remains have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy.