ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A standoff between authorities and a man suspected of ambushing and killing two police officers continued Monday in a small village in southeast Alaska.
Alaska State Troopers weren't releasing any more information about the incident in Hoonah, located on an island about 40 miles west of Juneau, agency spokeswoman Megan Peters said. Only essential personnel, including a SWAT team and dozens of other law enforcement officials, have been taken to Hoonah.
"We're not discussing anything that's going on on scene," Peters said. "We want a peaceful resolution."
Hoonah police officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka died after the shooting late Saturday, said Bob Prunella, acting city administrator.
"We believe they were ambushed by the individual," Peters said.
The suspect, John Marvin Jr., 45, barricaded himself in his home and Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement agencies and maintained their positions through the night into Monday, authorities said. Troopers were urging residents in the shoreline community of about 800 to stay away from the area.
It was unclear what led to the shooting.
Tokuoka left the home of his father-in-law, George Martin, just before the shooting. The 39-year-old officer was off-duty and had spent the evening there before leaving with his wife and two children, Martin said.
Soon after they left, Martin heard two shots. Wallace was knocked down, and Tokuoka told his wife and children to get away and then he was shot as well, Martin said.
"I imagine he was trying to administer help to this other officer when he got hit," Martin said.
Wallace was on-duty at the time of the shooting. It was unclear why he was in the area. Wallace, 32, died during surgery in Juneau and Tokuoka died at a clinic in the Native village, according to Martin.
"The whole town's in shock," he said. "I've been getting calls all day. It's a bad situation."
Martin said his home is just a block and a half from Marvin's. He didn't know why the officers were ambushed but said police have had run-ins with Marvin in the past. He said Marvin lives alone.
Alaska State Troopers were leading a multi-agency response, and Peters said a warrant was issued for Marvin's arrest. The Coast Guard transported the Juneau Police Department's SWAT team to the village, Peters said.
Prunella said the deaths leave the Tlingit community with just two full-time officers — the police chief and a trainee. He said the southeast Alaska town of Wrangell sent some officers to help out as needed.
Wallace was originally from Ohio and one of the few hard-of-hearing officers in the nation, according to officials at Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York, where he attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He also was a wrestler and was inducted into the university's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
He first joined the Hoonah police force in 2006, left after seven months and then rejoined in 2008. He served as the small department's evidence officer, and was recently designated as a breath-test maintenance technician.
According to the law enforcement networking website www.usacops.com, Tokuoka was a former Marine Corps staff sergeant who served in special operations. The Hawaii native had been with the department since spring 2009.