ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A man has been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of two troopers in a remote village, the Alaska State Troopers said Friday.
Nathaniel Lee Kangas, 19, is under arrest in the slayings Thursday of Trooper Gabriel "Gabe" Rich and Sgt. Patrick "Scott" Johnson in the isolated community of Tanana. Troopers said formal charges against the Tanana man were being prepared by troopers with the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals.
A second Tanana man, Arvin Kangas, 58, is charged with assault in connection with a Wednesday incident involving a village public safety officer. Resident Ruby Cruger said that she is related to the men, and that they are father and son.
Cruger said she did not know the details of the shooting, just that it has affected the entire community of 238 people. "They are all shocked," she said Friday.
Troopers also have released little information.
The two troopers were occasionally featured on the National Geographic Channel show Alaska State Troopers, which focuses on patrolling of the state's wild terrain. The troopers were not filming at the time of their deaths. Filming in the fifth season is being done with other troopers.
National Geographic said in a statement that it was "incredibly saddened" to learn of the deaths. Spokesman Chris Alpert said the troopers are among the many who are subjected to the daily dangers and vulnerabilities of working in isolated areas of the state, such as Tanana, which is about 130 miles west of Fairbanks.
No roads lead to Tanana, and travel there is mainly by aircraft. Residents lead a largely subsistence lifestyle.
The troopers had gone to Tanana to follow up on a report Wednesday night that someone "had brandished a firearm in the village," trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said. Rich and Johnson worked out of the troopers' Fairbanks rural service unit.