Vehicle chase ends in deaths of man and K9 near Wasilla

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A vehicle chase near Wasilla ended in the shooting deaths of a man and an AST K9 early Sunday.

Alaska State Troopers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle for a moving violation near Bogard and Helen, according to a dispatch.

Troopers said the Subaru Legacy driven by 36-year-old Justin Smith failed to yield and drove faster than the posted speed limit.

45 minutes later, the vehicle stopped after running over spike strips placed by AST at mile post 45.5 of the Parks Highway.

Troopers said Smith attempted to flee before AST deployed a K9.

He turned and shot the AST K9, according to AST.

Troopers returned fire, hitting Smith, who was taken to a local hospital and succumbed to his injuries.

Smith had two active arrest warrants out of Anchorage including warrants for assault and probation violation, according to AST.
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AST said Smith’s family has been notified.

AST said the K9 did not survive its injuries but no troopers were injured.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is taking over the case, AST said.
The investigation led to a temporary closure of the Parks Highway.

The identity of the troopers involved will not be revealed until a routine 72 hour administrative leave has been completed.

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