FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Authorities were legally justified in their use of deadly force in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Fairbanks man last year, according to report from state prosecutors.
The report released Monday by the state Office of Special Prosecutions says three Alaska State Troopers and two Fairbanks police officers fired on Cody Eyre after he ignored repeated requests to put down his gun and pointed it at officers.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Eyre was shot Dec. 24 after officers responded to reports he had been drinking, was suicidal and had a .22-caliber revolver with one bullet. According to the state report, Eyre told the officers, “You guys can (expletive) die right now” as he pointed his gun at them.
The report, written by Chief Assistant Attorney General Paul J. Miovas Jr., says “the officers were legally entitled to use deadly force to protect themselves and their fellow officers.”
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Authorities say more than 40 rounds and two individual shotgun rounds were fired in two main volleys at Eyre. The report says Eyre had 23 wounds associated with the shooting, but the exact number of bullet hits was difficult to determine among entry and exit wounds.
Eyre’s family has said they are preparing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Eyre’s sister, Samantha Eyre-Harrison, told the News-Miner the long time it took for the review of the shooting prompted the family to hire an attorney. The family also questions why so many officers opened fire in two separate volleys and why the situation escalated so quickly.
“The family believes that due to tactical incompetence, Cody was sentenced to a preventable execution. This didn’t need to end in death,” she said.
The state did not notify the family about the report, according to Eyre-Harrison. She said the family didn’t find out about the report content until contacted by an Anchorage news organization.
State Department of Law spokesman Jonathon Taylor said authorities unsuccessfully tried to contact the family before the report was released.
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com