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Alaska resident with rifle aids police with no guns after shots fired at officer

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KWETHLUK, Alaska — A 19-year-old Alaska man is facing attempted murder charges after breaking into a public safety building and firing on an unarmed village police officer, authorities said.

It happened in Alaska’s Village of Kwethluk on May 16 and Kwethluk’s Public Safety Administrative Chief, Nicolai Joseph said that a potential mass shooting was avoided, Alaska Public Radio reported Friday.

Now, village police officers, who currently do not carry firearms, are wondering if they should carry guns, according to the station.

Troopers arrested Bryan Nicolai after a member of the Kwethluk community with a rifle arrived on scene and talked Nicolai into surrendering, the station reported.

“If we had access to firearms, we’d be able to handle more of these scenarios on our own,” Village Police Officer Tiger Lee told the station.

Nicolai is accused of aiming a rifle at Lee and pulling the trigger, but the weapon didn’t fire. Troopers said Nicolai put on a ballistic vest, a helmet and staged multiple rifles after breaking into the building. He also activated the village fire alert system, they said.

Officers told the station they don’t carry firearms due to a lack of funding.

Deputy Chief David Berezkin said incidents involving guns in Kwethluk are rare.

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