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Man Shot By Alaska Police Had Machete, Hatchet

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File photo of a police officer's badge and car.  (Credit: Comstock/Thinkstock)

File photo of a police officer’s badge and car. (Credit: Comstock/Thinkstock)

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man who was shot and killed by an Anchorage policeman approached the officer with a 19-inch machete and a 10-inch hatchet, authorities said Friday.

Police had previously only described the weapons that Kenneth John, 26, wielded Monday evening as “blade-like” weapons in each hand, citing a need to complete the investigation and interview potential witnesses.

Those witnesses have now been interviewed, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro told the Anchorage Daily News, and other witnesses continue to emerge.

Also on Friday, police released a photo of the weapons, which appeared to be covered in blood. Citing the ongoing investigation, Castro would not discuss the weapons.

Early Monday evening, Officer Christopher Simmons, who was alone in his cruiser, was checking on an SUV that was parked on the wrong side of the road in the Fairview neighborhood.

Simmons made contact with John, who exited his Chevrolet Blazer with the bladed weapons, police have said.

The officer issued verbal commands to John, but authorities said John continued to advance on the officer even as he retreated.

Simmons then shot John, who was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

Simmons name was released, per department policy, three days after the shooting.

As with all officer-involved shootings, the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals will investigate the death.

John was the third person killed by Anchorage police this year, and a cousin to another.

John was related to Detlef Wulf, who was killed by police April 5. Family members question whether John’s killing was justified.

In the shooting of Wulf, a security guard couldn’t wake a man slumped over the wheel of his car in the Carrs/Safeway grocery store parking lot in the Fairview neighborhood. Police were called, and officers Michael Farr and Christopher Alexander attempted to wake Wulf by knocking on the windows.

They continued to knock, and Wulf woke up and began to move. That’s when the officers noticed a semi-automatic pistol on his lap.

Police say Wulf reached for the pistol with his right hand, while opening the car door with his left.

He refused an order to put up his hands, police said, and instead, pointed the gun at Farr.

Farr fired several times, and Alexander fired once. Both officers were cleared when a review found the shooting was legally justified. Police later said Wulf’s gun was fully loaded.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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