Family of Nikolaevsk man shot by Troopers left with more questions than answers

Mar 26, 2018

Credit Image courtesy of Alaska State Troopers

A Nikolaevsk man is dead and an Alaska State Trooper sustained serious injuries after an officer-involved shooting Saturday evening. Troopers say 42-year-old Nikolai Yakunin was shot after he assaulted an officer, but it’s unclear how the altercation happened and if Yakunin was armed.

Troopers in Anchor Point received a report that 42-year-old Nikolai Yakunin was in contact with a female who he was prohibited from speaking to under his probation conditions.

Troopers received the report at 2:17 p.m. Saturday afternoon and responded to Yakunin’s residence off Nikolaevsk Road on the south side of the small village of 350 people about five hours later at 7:07 p.m.

Yakunin’s father, also named Nikolai, was leading services at the local church when he said his wife told him about the shooting.

“I went out and she said our son had been shot, possibly killed, and she was crying,” Yakunin said.

He said he went to the house where troopers confirmed his son was dead on the scene. He said troopers have not disclosed any more information to him or his family.

“It’d be nice to find out what really happened with the trooper going into Nick’s house and getting into a fight with Nick or Nick getting into a fight with the trooper,” Yakunin added.

He does not think his son had any firearms at the time his son was shot. He also said the community is disappointed with the trooper’s use of force and said it was police brutality.

“Is this the practice of the troopers?” Yakunin questioned. “We know he was not armed. He might have had a pipe or something, but other than that, he had no firearm. But he was just taken down.”

According to a trooper dispatch, the responding trooper was incapacitated after Yakunin attacked him and additional troopers were dispatched for backup. Troopers say Yakunin continued his, “assaultive behavior, and he was shot to prevent further assaults on any Trooper or bystander.”

According to court records, Yakunin has been indicted on several assault charges dating back to late 2013, including a charge for threatening to hit troopers with a metal pipe in May of last year.

The release does not say how Yakunin attacked the responding officer, and that the trooper was transported to South Peninsula Hospital in Homer with serious injuries. Troopers spokesperson Tim DeSpain said the trooper was still hospitalized late Monday afternoon.

The trooper who shot and killed Yakunin has not been named and has been placed on standard 72-hour administrative leave. Troopers say the investigation is ongoing.

Yakunin’s funeral is planned later this week.