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Troopers fatally shoot Salcha man

Alaska State Troopers

SWAT teams try to serve warrants, return fire after suspect approaches, shouting, discharges weapon

Alaska State Troopers SWAT teams fatally shot a man this morning while trying to serve warrants at a home in Salcha, about 40 miles south of Fairbanks.

According to Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel, “At approximately 7 a.m., the Alaska State Troopers Northern Special Emergency Reaction Team and Southcentral Special Emergency Reaction Team deployed with a search warrant to a residence in Salcha to locate and serve multiple arrest warrants on 35-year-old Salcha resident Scott Hottinger.”

McDaniel says Hottinger was wanted on a no-bail felony probation-violation arrest warrant for kidnapping and separate warrants for felony domestic-violence assault and misdemeanor assault.

McDaniel says Hottinger stepped out of the house soon after the Special Emergency Reaction Teams arrived. He was carrying a gun and began shouting as he approached them.

“SERT members announced themselves as state Troopers,” he said. “Hottinger fired a gun, and SERT members returned fire, fatally wounding him.”

McDaniel says no Troopers were injured. He declined to say how many officers fired their weapon while an investigation into the shooting is under way. But he says the officer or officers will be identified after they’ve been on administrative leave for three days, as required by state Department of Public Safety policy.

The shooting occurred at a residence at milepost 322 on the Richardson Highway, near the Salchaket Roadhouse and about three miles from the Salcha School. The school did not go into lockdown, according to a Fairbanks North Star Borough School District spokesperson.

McDaniel could not say if Hottinger lived at the residence where the shooting occurred.

Online court records show Hottinger has a long criminal history dating to 2003 that includes a 2007 charge of domestic violence involving children. And in 2013, he was arrested for driving under the influence, failing to stop for police and refusal to submit to a drunk-driving test, and weapons misconduct.

A news release issued by Troopers this afternoon says the Alaska Bureau of Investigation will look into the incident. Once that investigation is completed, it’ll be reviewed by the Alaska Office of Special Prosecutions. Both are routine actions that are conducted after shootings involving law-enforcement officers.