Nathanial Kangas is accused of firing seven shots into the backs of two Alaska State Troopers, killing the officers and leading to charges that could put the 20-year-old behind bars for 200 years.
The Tatana resident is accused of shooting the police officers as they attempted to arrest his father. Fairbanks-based troopers Sgt. Patrick “Scott” Johnson and Gabriel “Gabe” were slain in the attack.
Nathanial Kangas was arraigned Saturday for the Alaska State Trooper shootings, being led into a courtoom where”every seat was full and the walls were lined with law enforcement officers of several agencies.” If convicted, Nathanial Kangas faces up to 200 years in prison. His bail has been set at $4 million.
The incident took place Thursday after local village official Mark Haglin confronted Nathanial’s father Arvin the day before about harrassing a villager over the unpaid purchase of a sofa. The 58-year-old Arvin then reportedly threatened the official, who called for backup from the Alaska State Troopers for his arrest.
But when the troopers tried to arrest Arvin, he resisted and tried to escape. During the scuffle his son Nathanial went into the family’s home, out of the troopers’ view, and emerged carrying what was described as an assault rifle. He then fired several shots into the backs of the officers.
After shooting the Alaska State Troopers, Kangas reportedly pointed the gun at Haglin before lowering it.
There had been some longstanding animosity between the Kangas family and state officials, friends and family members noted. The family was reportedly adamant about Alaska Native rights, and wanted to see the state’s first peoples secede and regain their traditional land.
After being arrested, Nathanial Kangas said he felt sorry for what he had done and only shot the Alaska State Troopers because they were wrestling with his father.