Chevak VPO Shot Three Times in Wednesday Village Incident

The community of Chevak. Image-Nakco
The community of Chevak. Image-Nakco


New information has been furnished by AST on the circumstances of the Chevak shooting/suicide that took place on Wednesday evening.

According to the trooper dispatch, the Village Police Officer Chief, Derrick McDonald, was shot while responding to a disturbance involving a firearm at a Chevak residence on Wednesday evening. The disturbance report included that 24-year-old Harold Paniyak was intoxicated and armed with a pistol.

When Officer McDonald arrived in the vicinity of the community’s Head Start building, he encountered Paniyak on the boardwalk. Troopers reported in the trooper dispatch that “as soon as Paniyak saw Chief McDonald, he fired one round from a .357 Cal pistol striking Chief McDonald.” The chief fell to the ground and Paniyak fired two more rounds into him.

Although he was seriously injured, McDonald “was able move from the area, as well as assist a witness to flee.” The two took cover in the Head Start building. 

After attempting to gain entrance into the building and failing, Paniyak left the area with his .357 pistol.

A short time later, Paniyak encountered another person from the village. It was then that Paniyak aimed the firearm at his own chest and discharged it, taking his own life.

Following the incident, McDonald was medevaced to Anchorage for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

Bethel-based troopers and ABI are continuing their investigation.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]