At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Alaska State Troopers received a REDDI (Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately) concerning a vehicle that nearly was responsible for a collision near the intersection of Gakona Lodge Road and the E. Tok Cut-Off Highway.
About ten minutes after the original call, AST dispatch received an additional report that the suspect vehicle was traveling towards the Richardson Highway.
At approximately 10 a.m. troopers from Glennallen located the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop but the driver refused to yield and attempted to flee. With AST in pursuit, the driver of the suspect vehicle discharged a firearm at the trooper. The trooper was uninjured and returned fire as the suspect continued to flee.
The suspect abandoned his vehicle and ran into the wood line near Mile 149 of the Richardson Highway.
Members of the Southcentral, Northern, and Southern Special Emergency Reaction Teams (SERT) responded. Additionally Helo-3, members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation and ‘B’ and ‘D’ Detachments’ General Investigation Units (GIU) also responded.
Alaska State Troopers is currently receiving operational and technical assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Parks Service and Village Public Safety Officer Program.
All schools in the Copper River School District were placed in lockdown for approximately 15 minutes until the Alaska State Troopers advised the school district that the lockdown could be lifted.
AST is asking motorists on the Richardson Hwy to not pick up hitchhikers in the vicinity of mile 134-165. AST is looking for Mark Emery Heinz. Heinz should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.
The Richardson Hwy remains closed between miles 134-165 during this active incident.