Two in custody in Tanana trooper slayings

Alaska State Troopers Rich and Johnson

Alaska State Troopers Gabriel “Gabe” Rich and Sgt. Patrick Scott Johnson were killed in the line of duty Thursday while responding to an incident in Tanana. (Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers)

Two men are in custody in connection with the deaths of two Alaska State Troopers in Tanana on Thursday.

Nathanial Lee Kangas, 19, has been arrested for the murders of Sgt. Patrick Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabriel “Gabe” Rich. They were killed while responding to a report of someone brandishing a firearm in the Interior village on Wednesday.

According to a trooper news release, Arvin Morse Kangas, 58, is charged with assault and driving with a revoked license stemming from the incident on Wednesday.  Formal charges are pending against Nathanial Kangas. Both men live in Tanana, which is located near the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers about 130 miles west of Fairbanks.

Troopers Johnson and Rich were members of the Fairbanks Rural Service Unit. Their bodies are en route to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage. Troopers plan to hold a 24-hour vigil to honor them.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is continuing its investigation on the ground in Tanana.

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