ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Police shot and killed a carjacking and armed robbery suspect when he pointed a gun at Fairbanks officers after a chase, authorities said.
Garrett Ebenal, 28, a convicted felon, died Tuesday as he exited a stolen car and came toward four officers trying to arrest him north of Fairbanks.
Four officers fired at Ebenal, who died at the scene.
Police say they recovered a handgun that had been stolen three days earlier at a Walmart store. The thief had asked to see a .45-caliber handgun then stuffed it into his sweat shirt, ran to a parking lot and tried to carjack a vehicle, police said.
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The driver refused to leave the vehicle and the assailant ran off.
Patrol officers could not find the man Saturday and turned the case over to detectives, who identified Ebenal. On Tuesday, detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of robbery, assault, theft and weapons misconduct.
Later, police dispatchers received a report of an armed carjacking in a parking lot in the northeast area of the city. A female driver reported that a man had ordered her out of her vehicle at gunpoint and drove off.
A half-hour later, police took a call about an armed robbery at a mini-mall on the same block as the parking lot. The robber used a gun to smash display cases and ordered an employee to the floor.
Minutes later, a police detective spotted Ebenal driving north. Officers pursued him past the city limit through a snowstorm about 17 miles (27 kilometers) to a cafe on Elliott Highway.
Authorities say the driver turned the stolen car around and drove back toward Fairbanks as police and Alaska State Troopers stopped traffic and deployed spike strips to deflate its tires. Police anticipated injuries and requested an ambulance.
After driving off the highway to avoid a semi-truck stopped in the roadway, Ebenal got out of the vehicle carrying the handgun, pointed it at police and was shot, authorities said.
The trigger lock of the stolen handgun had been removed and its magazine was loaded, police said.
The officers in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave for three days as part of routine procedure.