This screenshot of a video provided by the Fairbanks Police Department shows Alaska State Troopers and Fairbanks officers shortly before the fatal shooting death of 20-year-old Cody Eyre on Dec. 24, 2017. (Screenshot)

This screenshot of a video provided by the Fairbanks Police Department shows Alaska State Troopers and Fairbanks officers shortly before the fatal shooting death of 20-year-old Cody Eyre on Dec. 24, 2017. (Screenshot)

Fairbanks police release video of fatal shooting

Juneau lawyer continues to prepare wrongful-death lawsuit

Two weeks after the Alaska Department of Law declined to criminally charge the Fairbanks Police Department in the shooting death of 20-year-old Cody Eyre, the department has released an annotated video showing what officers saw on the night Eyre was killed.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon that was broadcast on Facebook Live, Fairbanks Police Chief Eric Jewkes showed the graphic and profane scene that took place on Christmas Eve 2017 when Eyre, depressed, walked with a gun down one of Fairbanks’ major highways.

Eyre, a Thunder Mountain High School graduate, was raised in Juneau, and members of his family still live here. In a September interview with the Empire, Eyre’s sister said the family was awaiting the release of the video. Juneau attorney Mark Choate said at that time that he was preparing a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of the family, and he confirmed Wednesday that he is still preparing that case.

“I know this is difficult and it seems like an eternity sometimes … but I do believe we worked diligently to be forthright and honest,” Jewkes said about the release of the video.

Choate said the video, which includes multiple sources of video and the audio from a microphone worn by an Alaska State Trooper, was “selectively edited,” and he wants to see the unedited copies and make sure the Eyre family has complete information.

“It’s more than disappointing for the family that the troopers had withheld producing any information to the family until right before the press conference and had only provided select information and a story intended to convince the public that the officers did no wrong when everything points to a lack of judgment, a lack of training and misuse of their power to end the life of a young man whose mother simply wanted a health and welfare check,” Choate said.

Eyre’s mother had called 911 on Dec. 24, 2017 and requested that check on her son after he threatened to kill himself.

The video provided by the police department shows law enforcement officers following Eyre as he walked more than half a mile down a highway and into a cul-de-sac behind a Baptist church. When he stopped, they stopped. When he advanced, they did, and when he walked toward him, they backed up, keeping their distance from a man who had a gun and frequently pointed it at his head.

Officers repeatedly — 78 times by Jewkes’ count — asked Eyre to put the gun down and talk with them. Eyre, distraught, kept walking away from them and repeatedly screamed that he was ready to kill himself.

As he neared the end of the cul-de-sac, which abutted a residential neighborhood, his screams became louder and occasionally lost all words.

He was illuminated by the headlights of an officer’s patrol car and the aboard spotlight, which cast long shadows.

At the end of the video, Eyre points his pistol at the officers.

“You guys can f***ing die right now; I don’t give a f**k,” he says, and they open fire. The video cuts to black.

According to the report submitted by the Department of Law, officers fired more than 40 shots, and Eyre’s body was hit by at least 23 of those.

Eyre’s sister, Samantha Eyre-Harrison, said the family saw the video Tuesday and that the edited version doesn’t show Eyre asking to be left alone, him peacefully walking away to calm himself down, or him pleading with police that no one needs to die.

She noted that police held their press conference on World Mental Health Day, a holiday intended to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Eyre-Harrison is a nurse at Bartlett Regional Hospital and said FPD and Troopers failed to de-escalate the situation and left her brother in a literal dead end, feeling trapped.

“When someone feels threatened, and they’re already in a fight or flight state, it’s only going to antagonize them even more,” she said. “I know in the depths of my heart that he was failed that night by FPD and the Alaska State Troopers.”

Alaska State Troopers Capt. Ron Wall said during Wednesday’s press conference that the video was delayed by the need to conclude a homicide investigation against the officers, then by the need to allow the Department of Law’s Office of Special Prosecutions to independently investigate.

“We wanted to get this out, but we wanted to do this in a controlled fashion,” he said. “Hopefully you guys understand that we’ve done it as fast as we can.”

Wednesday’s press conference marked the second time this year that police video has been released following an officer-involved shooting in Alaska. In February, the Alaska Department of Law declined to press charges following the October 2017 shooting death of a man who apparently was attempting to steal a police car while in handcuffs. In that case, a body camera video was released four months after the incident following an open records request by the Associated Press.

Editor’s note: Suicide is a serious topic. If you’re in trouble and need help, please talk to someone. If you don’t think you can talk to someone in person, call the Alaska CARELINE at 1-877-266-HELP, or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Alaska Community Mental Health Centers, or

• Contact reporter James Brooks at or 523-2258.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024

For Thursday, Feb. 29 Assault At 5:49 p.m. on Thursday, a 17-year-old… Continue reading

The Alaska Supreme Court is seen on Thursday, Feb. 8, in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Supreme Court decides key question: Who is an Alaskan?

An Alaskan is someone physically present in the state who intends to… Continue reading

Pink salmon are seen in an undated photo. (NOAA Fisheries photo)
New salmon study adds to evidence that pink salmon could be crowding out sockeye

A new analysis of nearly 25,000 fish scales offers more evidence that… Continue reading

Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Ribbon-cutting for Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool a blessing for longtime users after 11-month renovation

Infrastructure upgrades, new locker rooms and student tile art in lobby greet visitors at ceremony.

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Friday, Feb. 23. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Legislature plans March 12 vote on Gov. Dunleavy’s executive orders

Order giving governor full control of Alaska Marine Highway Operations board among six scheduled.

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of March 2

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning… Continue reading

Most Read