Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer speaks during a news conference on Feb. 23, 2022 about an officer-involved shooting the previous day. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer speaks during a news conference on Feb. 23, 2022 about an officer-involved shooting the previous day. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Police investigating officer-involved shooting

Minor injuries from broken glass were reported, but no-one was shot.

Editor’s note: This article includes references to suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7. It can be reached at (800) 273-8255.

An officer-involved shooting on Tuesday evening resulted in a minor injury, police said, while Juneau police officers were responding to a call in a Mendenhall Valley trailer park.

The officer who fired their weapon is currently on administrative leave, and their name will be released soon, said Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer in a news conference Wednesday evening.

At about 7:24 p.m. on Tuesday, JPD received a call from a family member that a 65-year-old man, who the caller said was threatening to harm himself with a loaded gun inside of his residence at the Kodzoff II Trailer Park.

“At least five officers responded to this call,” Mercer said during the news conference. “We like trying to de-escalate the situation by making contact with the individual and calm them down.”

The 65-year-old man was outside of his residence when the responding officers contacted him, according to police. During their conversation, one of the officers, believing the subject was pointing a gun at them, fired their service weapon, striking two other trailers and shattering a bedroom window, according to police. Broken glass led to a bystander receiving a minor injury.

“One person sustained a minor injury at the scene who was treated,” Mercer said.

The injured person was evaluated by Capital City Fire/Rescue and released, according to police. The subject of the initial call, who had dropped to the ground when the officer fired their weapon, was detained, checked for injuries, handcuffed, and taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for evaluation.

Officers carry handguns and rifles as their service weapons; officers responding to a hypothetical situation like this would likely have their rifles, Mercer said.

“I think the important thing to note here is any time one of our officers feels the need to discharge his or her weapon in the course of duty it is a tragedy,” said Deputy City Manager Robert Barr during the news conference.

Investigators from the Alaska Bureau of Investigations, which helps investigate serious cases, arrived in Juneau this morning to investigate the incident, Mercer said. All aspects of the situation, including the officer’s conduct and the subject’s behavior, will be investigated, Mercer said.

“Whenever our officers have to discharge their weapon, it’s pretty significant,” Mercer said. “In my 22 years working for this police department, we haven’t had many officer-involved shootings.”

The last officer-involved shooting in Juneau was in late 2019.

The investigation is just beginning, Mercer said, expressing his hopes for transparency and a quick and clear-cut resolution.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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