Barrow Rep. Nageak’s nephew killed in police shooting

North Slope Borough Police SUVs cars
North Slope Borough Police SUVs in Barrow in 2008. (Creative Commons photo by Mack McKinley and Tim Wilson)

Vincent Nageak III was the victim of a fatal police shooting in Barrow early Wednesday morning, according to the Barrow mayor’s office.

According to the North Slope Borough Mayor’s office, the incident happened around 4 a.m. A North Slope Borough Police Officer was responding to a call for assistance when the shooting took place.

Nageak was the nephew of Barrow Rep. Ben Nageak. Sen. Donny Olson from the Bering Strait region expressed his condolences during Wednesday’s Senate floor session.

Rep. Benjamin Nageak speaks on the House floor, Jan. 21, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)
Rep. Benjamin Nageak speaks on the House floor in January 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

“(Overnight), there was a tragedy up in Barrow when Vincent Nageak, a Middle East veteran, served his country over there, as well a fire chief for the volunteer fire department, passed away,” Olson said.

Olson explained that the victim was Rep. Nageak’s favorite nephew.

“This morning, when I went and told Ben,” Olson explained, “Obviously, they were very broken up by that, so I just want us to be especially sensitive toward Ben and his family at this time.”

Nageak, age 36, was a lifelong Barrow resident. Along with serving as fire chief, he also worked for the Department of Corrections in Barrow for over 10 years.

In a statement, Rep. Ben Nageak said the family “still (doesn’t) know all the facts.” He said they’re trying to get home to be near and find out what happened. Rep. Nageak also expressed thanks for the support of his family.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation arrived on the scene in Barrow this Wednesday afternoon.

John Boyle, the North Slope Borough’s director of government and external affairs, confirmed the officer involved in the shooting was not injured. His name will not be released for 72 hours, per department policy.

Nageak’s next of kin have been notified. His body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy.

KNOM’s Laura Kraegel contributed to this report. 

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