WASILLA — Both Wasilla and Palmer Police Departments were involved in an officer involved shooting on Thursday night following a pursuit that began in Palmer and culminated in Wasilla with one local man dead. Alaska State Troopers report that at 6:43 p.m. on August 26, PPD attempted to stop a man speeding on a motorcycle near the Alaska State Fair in Palmer and requested the assistance of WPD. During the pursuit, officers spotted what appeared to be a handgun around the waist of the motorcycle driver.
“After an approximately 17 minute pursuit, the motorcycle driver stopped on Church Road near Spruce Avenue and attempted to retrieve the handgun from his waist. Due to the driver’s actions, Palmer Police Officers and Wasilla Police Officer fired their service weapons, fatally injuring the motorcycle driver identified as 27-year-old Wasilla resident Zaqua Radle-Maxson,” reads the Trooper dispatch post.
The supposed handgun that resulted in the shooting of the 27-year-old Radle-Maxson was determined to be a full-sized BB gun that had been designed to appear as if a functioning handgun, with no orange tip or other indicative markings. Troopers were requested to investigate the incident by both PPD and WPD and the officers who discharged their firearms were placed on administrative leave and will be identified after 72 hours. Once Trooper investigation has concluded, the case will be reviewed by the Alaska Department of Law’s Office of Special Prosecutions.
On Sunday, AST named two-year WPD officer Cody Rice, four-year PPD officer Richard Clark and five-year PPD reserve officer James Harvey as the law enforcement officers who discharged their firearms on August 26.