Jury finds Anchor Point man guilty of attempted murder of state trooper in 2021

FastCast morning digital headlines for Wednesday, July 19, 2023.
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 3:34 PM AKDT
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HOMER, Alaska (KTUU) - A man who authorities say shot an Alaska state trooper five times in an August 2021 shooting was convicted Tuesday by a Homer jury of attempted murder, among other charges.

In an Alaska Department of Law release, 62-year-old Bret Herrick was found guilty of attempted murder of a trooper, as well as three counts of first-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault for raising his pistol at a second trooper, second-degree escape, resisting arrest, and two counts of violating conditions of release — one for possessing a firearm and another for possessing a bayonet, both in violation of a court-ordered condition of release.

Herrick was spotted by an Alaska State Troopers employee on Aug. 23, 2021, in the Warehouse, a grocery store in Anchor Point about 16 miles north of Homer. Herrick had a previous court order to not possess any weapons, but was also known to carry weapons on him.

Charging documents say that when trooper Bruce Brueggeman arrived to arrest him, Herrick allegedly pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and fired five times at Brueggeman before raising his gun at a second trooper and running off with his weapon.

An extensive manhunt was conducted overnight for Herrick, who was eventually found the next morning near his house and arrested.

“Thanks to heroic efforts by a Warehouse employee, emergency medical personnel, and physicians from Homer and Anchorage, all of whom testified at the trial, the trooper’s life was saved,” the release stated.

In addition to the release, the Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell put out a public statement praising the actions of the responding officers as well as the community on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the relentless efforts of our Alaska State Trooper Investigators, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and all those involved in the emergency response and investigation that led to this conviction,” Cockrell said. “Their unwavering commitment to justice has ensured this perpetrator will be held accountable for his actions. Since Trooper Brueggeman was shot, we have witnessed a remarkable outpouring of support from our community members has been truly humbling. The unwavering support and solidarity shown by Alaskans during these trying times have been a beacon of hope for all of us. Let this conviction be a testament to our determination to uphold the rule of law, protect those who protect us, and ensure that acts of violence against law enforcement will not go unpunished.”

Herrick will be sentenced on Nov. 1 and faces up to 114 years in jail as a maximum penalty.