Today’s defensive gun use of the day comes to us from The Last Frontier. Earlier this month, a 19-year-old man in fatigues broke into a municipal building in the town of Kwethluk in southwest Alaska. According to Alaska Public Radio, “He staged rifles inside, and activated the fire alert system. When village police officers responded, the officers say that [Brian] Nicolai shot at them. But no one was hurt, largely thanks to an armed resident who got Nicolai to give up his weapon and lie on the ground.”
There was concern that Nicolai had been planning a mass shooting. Fortunately none of the cops were injured. Not that they could have done much to defend themselves since village police officers don’t carry firearms.
[Officer Tiger] Lee ran away as Nicolai fired in his direction, according to Lee and troopers. He took cover behind a shipping container with another VPO, Wassillie Nick, who arrived as backup. Although VPOs responded first, it was ultimately a resident who defused the situation. The difference between the officers and the resident was that the resident had a gun.
Yes, a gun tends to be a big help to an officer of the law when he finds himself under fire. Thankfully, Casey Thompson, a Kwethluk local, had a rifle (as you’d expect of, well, 98% of Alaskans). Thompson held the gun on Nicolai and convinced him to give himself up.
The situation has the local constabulary re-thinking their approach to patrolling the town.
Lee said that he’s glad Thompson had a gun, and believes VPOs should be able to carry them.
“If we had access to firearms, we’d be able to handle more of these scenarios on our own,” Lee said.
Deputy Chief David Berezkin agrees, for certain cases.
“Sometimes that show of force helps,” Berezkin said.
Yes. Yes it does.
[h/t Latin X]