Murder One Verdict comes Back for Manokotak VPSO Shooter

VPSO Thomas Madole was killed in the line of duty on March 19 while serving in Manokotak. Image-State of Alaska

VPSO Thomas Madole was killed in the line of duty on March 19 while serving in Manokotak. Image-State of Alaska

A Dillingham Jury came back with a verdict of “Guilty” at 5:02 Tuesday after the trial of Manokotak man, 44-year-old Leroy Dick Jr, who shot VPSO Thomas Madole in that village.

The verdict was a unanimous one of guilty of First-Degree Murder. Leroy’s defense did not call any witnesses, present any evidence, but only argued that Dick did not mean to kill the officer. Dick shot Madole as he was running from the Manokotak residence.

On the late afternoon of March 19th, 2013, Madole responded to the residence after Dick’s mother told Madole about an altercation between Dick and his stepfather. She also related to Madole that her son may be suicidal. Prior to responding, Madole reported his intentions to respond to the scene to troopers.

When Madole arrived the home, Dick had already armed himself with a .223 caliber Mini-14. When Madole arrived, Madole knocked repeatedly at the door, Dick refused to answer. But, Madole continued knocking. When Dick finally went to answer the door, he chambered a round into the weapon.

When the door opened, Madole saw Dick with the weapon and immediately retreated. Dick opened fire as Madole was running away, hitting Madole in the head, chest, abdomen, and thigh.

Troopers responded to the scene about an hour later. Dick admitted to the killing. Dick told Alaska State Trooper Sgt Michael Henry that he saw Madole look at him and then ran. Henry wrote in in an affidavit that “Leroy said he didn’t know how many times he fired his rifle. Leroy said he was angry, and he knew what he did was wrong.” Although Dick said he didn’t know how many shots he took at Madole, investigators would find a half a dozen spent cartridges at the scene, one of which was located near Madole’s body.

The community of Manokotak, population approximately 449, is located 25 miles southwest of Dillingham along the Igushik River. Madole had been the VPSO of the small community since 2011. Prior to that Madole was the Assembly of God pastor at that denomination’s church in Bethel.

The new Public Safety office in the community was dedicated in memory of Madole last week.

Dick’s sentencing is set for March.