Update: Teenager charged in Mat-Su homicide that left four dead, including two children

An Alaska State Trooper cruiser. (Matthew Smith/KNOM)

Updated Post — Dec. 1, 2020 4:30 PM

A Mat-Su teenager has been charged with killing his aunt and three cousins in Palmer and Wasilla Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon, 18-year-old Malachi Maxon was charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, as well as one count of attempted murder and trying to escape from law enforcement.

Alaska State Troopers responded to the first shooting shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Monday. A Trooper affidavit says 18-year-old Cody Roehl, Maxon’s cousin, had been shot at a home near Wasilla, but was still alive when Troopers arrived. The affidavit says Maxon was at the home earlier in the evening, and that there had been no verbal or physical altercations while he was there. Roehl was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

A white Jeep Liberty and a Glock pistol were reported missing from the scene of the shooting, and video surveillance of the home shows the jeep leaving a few minutes after 3:00 a.m.

According to the affidavit, Troopers discovered that Maxon was under pre-trial electronic monitoring for a domestic violence charge. He had been released from jail a week prior to the shootings. Troopers determined Maxon was at a residence on North Valley Way in Palmer just after 3:30 am. Around that same time, Palmer Police Department received multiple calls reporting gunshots in the area.

While searching the home in Palmer, law enforcement officers found that three more people had been shot. Maxon’s aunt, 43-year-old Kimora Buster, as well as his cousins, 7-year-old Ellison Buster and 10-year-old Sienna Buster died from their injuries. A third child was also at the home, but was uninjured. Troopers say evidence at the scene indicates Maxon attempted to shoot the third child, but was unsuccessful.

Troopers, along with Wasilla and Anchorage Police later stopped Maxon on the Glenn Highway, and he was arrested without incident. While being transported, the Trooper affidavit states Maxon attempted to escape by running to nearby trees. The affidavit says Maxon attempted to pull a Trooper’s gun from its holster, but was unsuccessful. Maxon was restrained and taken to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.

Original Post — Nov. 30, 2020

Alaska State Troopers have arrested a suspect in the shooting deaths of four family members, including two children, in the Mat-Su Borough.

The suspect has yet to be identified, but Troopers said in a report Monday afternoon that he is male and is related to all four victims.

The first shooting reportedly occurred shortly after 3:00 am in Knik-Fairview near Wasilla. After receiving a report of gunshots, Troopers found Cody Roehl, 18, dead at the scene. Others present at the home gave a description of the shooter and his vehicle, a white Jeep Patriot.

Just over half an hour later, Palmer Police received a report of a disturbance and gunshots at a residence on North Valley Way. Police investigated and found the remains of Kimora Buster, 43, Ellison Buster, 7, and Sienna Buster, 10, at the scene. One unidentified child in the home was uninjured.

Just after 4:00 am, Troopers pulled over a white Jeep Patriot on the Glenn Highway that matched the description from the first shooting. They arrested the driver without incident.

In Monday afternoon’s update, Troopers said the suspect will be identified once formal charges are filed.

This story has been updated.