AST: Trooper who killed an Anchorage man wielding replica assault rifle has been identified

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 3:38 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 9:28 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska State Trooper Garrett Stephens is the trooper who shot and killed a 23-year-old man after he reportedly pointed a replica assault rifle toward a trooper during a pursuit in Fairbanks early Friday morning.

Stephens, who is stationed in Fairbanks, has only served the agency for one year, according to an updated dispatch by AST. Stephens graduated from the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s training academy back in November 2019.

Dimitri Lanahan was declared dead at the scene after being shot by Stephens, according to the original dispatch on Friday afternoon. Troopers said the replica appeared authentic and “did not have any markings that readily distinguished it from a firearm.”

Prior to the situation’s escalation, Stephens noticed a silver Jeep driving recklessly near the Gold Rush Estates Trailer Park in Fairbanks just before 3 a.m., according to the dispatch. The driver, later identified as Lanahan, nearly collided with the Stephens’ patrol vehicle.

The trooper attempted to pull over the vehicle, according to the dispatch, but it did not stop right away. Stephens then initiated a chase that led into the wooded area between the Fairbanks International Airport and a flood control dike for Tanana River.

Troopers said Lanahan then reportedly stepped out of the vehicle with the replica rifle in hand and aimed toward the trooper. The trooper then shot Lanahan, the dispatch said.

Following the shooting, troopers learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Anchorage, according to the dispatch. It added that Lanahan had an outstanding felony warrant for a second-degree escape.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting. Once completed, the Alaska Office of Special Prosecutions will review the case.

Stephens was not injured during the shooting, according to the dispatch.

Lanahan’s family has been notified of his death, troopers said.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to share the name of the trooper who shot and killed Dimitri Lanahan.

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