Man killed during 3rd police chase in 2 years - Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: News

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Man killed during 3rd police chase in 2 years

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Posted: Saturday, August 4, 2012 8:00 am | Updated: 7:15 pm, Mon Aug 6, 2012.

EKLUTNA — Alaska State Troopers say Justin Lloyd Abrahamson, 29, of Anchorage was shot and killed after leading troopers on a car chase from Wasilla to Eklutna that ended when his car caught fire and he brandished a bat at troopers while continuing to flee on foot.

Court records show this was the second time in as many months Abrahamson had fled when police tried to pull him over, and the third in two years. He was charged with drunken driving, driving without a valid license and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer during a June 17 incident.

He had posted a $3,000 corporate bond on those charges July 27 and was released from jail less than a week before Friday’s chase, according to court records.

Judging by court records, Abrahamson hadn’t had a valid driver’s license since at least 2010 and he compiled a slew of driving on a suspended license charges since then. In July 2011, he was charged with failing to stop for an officer in Anchorage. That case was resolved in March of this year after he pleaded guilty. Three months later he picked up the failure to stop charge he was facing when he died.

Traffic on the Glenn Highway in both directions was stopped for several hours Friday while law enforcement officers worked the scene near Mile 25, Glenn Highway.

The incident began around 4 a.m. in Wasilla and by 4:20 a.m., Abrahamson had been shot and killed on the northbound side of the Glenn Highway near the Thunderbird Falls Exit. The highway re-opened to the normal flow of traffic around 1 p.m., Friday, AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen said.

She said Abrahamson fled when troopers tried to pull him over for not signaling a turn onto Tommy Moe Drive in Wasilla. Abrahamson fled onto Lucille Street, then the Parks Highway, which he followed to the Glenn Highway, Ipsen said.

Spike strips deployed near the Trunk Road exit on the Parks managed to deflate a tire, but Abrahamson continued to flee until the 1994 Saturn coupe he was driving caught fire 26 miles later.

Troopers said Abrahamson was the sole occupant of the vehicle and fled on foot toward northbound traffic when the Saturn caught fire. Attempts to subdue him peacefully — including using a Taser — were unsuccessful, Ipsen said.

“The man then stopped running and advanced on three troopers with a raised bat,” a trooper press release states. “At that time, a trooper fired and shot the man with his duty weapon at approximately 4:20 a.m.”

Abrahamson was declared dead at the scene.

No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident. In accordance with department policy, the names of troopers involved in shooting incidents are not released for 72 hours.

Troopers received assistance from the Anchorage and Wasilla police departments, including a K-9 officer from WPD.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded and assumed case responsibility.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the investigator assigned to the case at (907) 269-5450.

Contact managing editor Heather A. Resz at or 352-2268.

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  • lj posted at 11:23 am on Thu, Aug 9, 2012.

    lj Posts: 1

    I agree with alaska59. The taking of a life should be the LAST resort. But most of you feel that what he did deserved the death pentaly, I very much disagree. Life seems to be of so little value these days. I thought the police was taught how to talk down a person (it was a bat not a gun) and to help people now they shot first and ask later.

  • kaigun posted at 11:03 am on Thu, Aug 9, 2012.

    kaigun Posts: 146

    OutSideTheBox, I agree with you completely. One person alone had the power to stop this incident at any time prior to shots being fired-Justin Lloyd Abrahamson. Unfortunately for him, he chose not to.

  • perennialgma posted at 7:31 am on Thu, Aug 9, 2012.

    perennialgma Posts: 419

    Another example of how Alaskans don't walue these a non drinking woman I find them all disgusting and self centered. I feel bad for the trooper who shot him and the mother who bore him. Not to mention all those who failed to teach Justin, or treated him so poorly that he wanted to die.

  • reality posted at 8:57 am on Wed, Aug 8, 2012.

    reality Posts: 399

    RCK to the rational amoung us it appears that the repeat offenders are out of control. Perhaps it should be a topic in school that teaches when a police officer is pointing a gun at you, you should put you hand up and comply. When a police officer is pulling you over it is not acceptable to run. Justin should have been in jail long ago. He was a danger to others as well as to himself.

  • alaska59 posted at 8:28 am on Wed, Aug 8, 2012.

    alaska59 Posts: 42

    RK Don’t assume or generalize for me. I have respect for the law- currently working with the AST on a Federal case in our community. Like MANY- the taking of a life should be a last resort. When he fled the scene they did not use a resource- their K9 dog. Wide open road, little traffic, three officers, no place to run, lots of questions. One would be "what's the plan", there was no need to chase after him- they could have taken controll.

  • RCK posted at 9:57 pm on Tue, Aug 7, 2012.

    RCK Posts: 7

    The police officers in this state are out of control. The state has seen 3 un-nessary shooting of people who most likely did not need to be shot. Let us justify shooting someone. The story of shooting someone because you have a bat is not justified. Here are a few questions everyone should be asking; Was he or she shot in the back running away?, It was a bat not a gun, so where is the justification? If we are training or police officers to shoot to kill only this state needs help.

  • RK posted at 7:12 pm on Tue, Aug 7, 2012.

    RK Posts: 14

    What I have discovered is folks like alaska 59 and Contaraian will be the first ones screamming mad that some moron beat thier family member to death with a bat. And then give the AST crap for not re-acting fast enough to stop the loser...

  • willowwood53 posted at 8:51 am on Tue, Aug 7, 2012.

    willowwood53 Posts: 8

    Remember the guy in Mountain View who was shot.? It was revealed in the news that he was usually a nice guy, but was high at the time of his death on some sort of chemical drug (bath salts?). These new drugs, besides making a person out of their mind seem to give beyond human strength. A person in that state can certainly kill or seriously maim someone with a bat. Why would an officer want to put themselves at such a risk?
    I'm sure that law enforcement is very aware and wary of people taking these types of drugs and will take no chances. There's more and more of this type of behavior out there in the drug using community.
    I'm not saying the deceased was on these drugs, but with that type of erratic behaviour, in the eyes of law enforcement, he certainly would have been suspect.

  • Pilot posted at 4:14 pm on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    Pilot Posts: 192

    Right. Charge a police officer with a bat and count on taser attempt #4 (or 5? or....?) Start requiring all police officers to be equipped with nets, water cannons blah blah blah. (YOU want to run after somebody carrying all that stuff? You want to try and wrestle somebody to the ground encumbered with all that?)
    Those of you wringing your hands and sobbing over somebody that was JUST released last week....cop chase #3...and charged an officer with a bat are part of the problem. ZERO accountability and ZERO sense of responsibilty for one's own actions. Sad.

  • OutSideTheBox posted at 4:09 pm on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    OutSideTheBox Posts: 60

    If you insist on pointing fingers "after" the fact, there is only one person you should be pointing the finger at; Justin. He CHOOSE to run from police when they tried to pull him over for failure to signal; he CHOOSE to continue down the Parks/Glenn Highway after running over a spike strip; he CHOOSE to get out of his car with a baseball bat and continue running from police; he CHOOSE to attempt to attack police officer's with a baseball bat AFTER being tazed. He had FIVE chances to end this and he instead CHOOSE to force police to use deadly force to stop him. You can second guess how/what/when police should use deadly force all you want but they have no idea on the mental condition of a person like Justin who acted so irrational. Was he high on meth, bath salts, drunk ect...? If you're so good at dealing with these kinds of criminals I would suggest you become a part of law enforcement and be part of the solution and not just a whinning arm chair police officer.

  • Contrarian posted at 2:08 pm on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    Contrarian Posts: 143

    There are many non-lethal means of arresting a man swinging a bat. A net could have been thrown over him, pepper spray, stunning means, water cannon, rubber bullets, rock salt, etc. Alaska State Troopers may be guilty of yet another cruel murder. Let us seek justice for all. Let us not look the other way in fear, when peace officers abuse their authority.

  • reality posted at 1:54 pm on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    reality Posts: 399

    OK I get it, your IQ is 59, I said keep repeat offenders locked up. NOT a word about shooting them.

  • alaska59 posted at 10:59 am on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    alaska59 Posts: 42

    So, you are faulting our court system- Are we to shoot everyone becaase you think that will fix the problem. I don't think so. A fist is a deadly weapon- should we shoot a man because he wants to fight? There was a K-9 officer- the dog could have aided these THREE officers. Why have a dog if you don't use it?

  • reality posted at 9:53 am on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    reality Posts: 399

    alaska59, is 59 your IQ? Of course a baseball bat is a deadly weapon. FYI the last judge that sentenced this clown gave him 360 days and then suspended 345 or them. If he hadn't the Clown would have been in jail instead of being a danger to himself or others. The other Clown that was shot in the butt a month ago was also let out and did it again this time crashing into 6 cars in the process in Anchorage. The courts are endangering all of us by letting known repeat offenders out over and over again. The fastest way to increase the crime rate is to let repeat offenders out of jail.

  • posted at 9:17 am on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.


    This "shoot to wound" mentality demonstrates a very clear misunderstanding of the situation, reality and perhaps too much belief in Hollywood movies.

  • alaska59 posted at 8:20 am on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    alaska59 Posts: 42

    Your words "Deadly Threat" a bat is not deadly threat. Any one of them could have tackled him and overtaken him- swinging a bat requires arms up and there were three officers. This man was outnumbered and less than deadly force was warranted here. Don't get me wrong he as out of line but it's up to the court to decide if his actions were worthy of death. People make bad decision- so do officers.

  • JimH posted at 1:19 am on Mon, Aug 6, 2012.

    JimH Posts: 4

    All police are trained to react to a deadly threat, e.g., being attacked by a guy with a bat, splintered broom handle, etc., by shooting to stop, not kill. They aim for center of mass and fire until the threat is stopped. To hit a knee cap would not be likely in 1 second, under stress. The cop would get clobbered right after the missed shot. Shooting to wound would also show that "officer used deadly force (shooting suspect) when the officer thought less than deadly force (aiming for leg) was warranted". It's a good shoot, as reported.

  • alaska59 posted at 9:26 pm on Sun, Aug 5, 2012.

    alaska59 Posts: 42

    Very little traffic at 4am- many don't signal. This isn't about the signal but about not stopping. As was said "The little details" are being figured out.
    Our law enforcement officers should have been able to control this situation, they (meaning more than one) each had a gun and and knew this guy did not.
    What kind of training did these officers receive before they got their badge?
    This dead man made mistakes but none large enough to be killed for

  • Meadow_Lakes_Madman posted at 8:43 pm on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    Meadow_Lakes_Madman Posts: 109

    Turning from Tommy Moe Drive at 4AM and he didn't use his turn signal, no one should even question what will become obvious once released...the guy was probably drunk or worse. AST did what they are charged to do, protect the public. I have no heartburn waiting in traffic just knowing Alaska has one less criminal cruising amongst us.

  • joaneyg posted at 8:05 pm on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    joaneyg Posts: 8

    This guy had no regard for anyones life or the law, his history shows that. If a tazer gun won't take him down what alternative did the troopers have.To me it looks like suicide by cop.
    I think judges need to give the police a hand here and keep these guys behind bars, this guy had no business being out on the street with so many charges pending.The AST and ACP don't get paid enough to babysit these idiots, and keepm them safe from us or themselves.

  • alaskan_style posted at 4:28 pm on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    alaskan_style Posts: 180

    good work alaska law enforcement!

    what have we learned this summer, kids: do NOT EVER come at law enforcement with a weapon!

  • PainintheButte posted at 2:59 pm on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    PainintheButte Posts: 176

    RE: Not Buying: Three words...Center of Mass.

  • Pilot posted at 1:26 pm on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    Pilot Posts: 192

    Always wonder about the bleeding hearts that wring their hands together and berate the police whenever a degenerate like this is shot after threatening them. I guess they figure that when the taser failed etc....the police are supposed to curl up in a ball and get beaten. Good grief.

  • reality posted at 9:08 am on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    reality Posts: 399

    Justin did not believe the law applied to him. He was a danger to himself and others, it finally caught up with him. Too bad he wasn't in jail so this didn't have to happen. I feel sorry for the Troopers when they are confronted with someone who the courts should have kept off the streets. Fortunately Justin didn't kill anyone else this time.

  • Not Buying posted at 9:14 pm on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Not Buying Posts: 39

    The troopers tried to pull the guy they shot for not using his turn signal in Wasilla. Turn signal violation? Nobody uses their turn signals anymore! Seriously people, don't bring a bat to a gunfight. Is it possible that law enforcement officers also get road rage after chasing someone down the road for not using turn signals? I can see killing someone who points a gun at you, but a ball bat. Come on, why not just shoot the guy in the kneecaps and haul him to the emergency room. Regarding all those folks stuck in traffic, quit complaining, most of the time you are driving 75-85 mph on that highway. Nobody drives the speed limit anymore either.

  • Nostalgia1 posted at 12:52 pm on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Nostalgia1 Posts: 142

    Thank you Alaska State Troopers for sparing us tax payers the burden of feeding and clothing another social degenerate for life. I'm sure you'll be criticized by those who feel you should talk nicely to criminals and give them a hug. Hopefully word will spread fast that if you're in Alaska and you do the crime; be prepared to be held accountable! Keep up the good work of keeping us law abiding citizens safe. God Bless

  • Briscoe posted at 10:36 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Briscoe Posts: 2

    Update: After taking over 2 hours to go from the Parks/Glenn split to the Knik River exit, my wife gave up and turned around a little after 10:00 and headed back to the Valley

  • Briscoe posted at 9:53 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Briscoe Posts: 2

    I'm not sure what is going on with the Southbound traffic. We left Trunk Road at 6:00 and by 9:15 we still were not to Eklutna. We were at a dead stop for hours. I gave up and came back to the Valley.


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