Trooper who shot and killed Nikolaevsk man identified

Mar 28, 2018

Credit Alaska State Troopers

The Alaska State Trooper that shot and killed a Nikolaevsk man Saturday has been identified. Troopers say Sergeant Daniel Cox responded to the house of Nikolai Yakunin Saturday evening for backup after Yakunin assaulted responding officer Luke Kumfer, a seven-year veteran.

Cox shot Yakunin when he arrived on the scene.

Troopers were responding to a report that Yakunin was in contact with a woman who he was prohibited from to speaking to under his probation conditions.

That report came in at 2:17 Saturday afternoon. Officer Kumfer arrived at Yakunin’s house in the small village near Anchor Point about five hours later at 7:07 p.m.

Troopers say Yakunin refused to cooperate with Kumfer and threatened the officer. Kumfer immediately called for backup. He then “fired” his stun gun and sprayed Yakunin with pepper spray.

According to troopers, Yakunin then knocked Kumfer off the porch and continued to assault him for about 20 minutes before officer Cox arrived on the scene and shot Yakunin, who was pronounced dead on the scene.

Yakunin’s father, also named Nikolai, was leading services at the local church when he said his wife told him about the shooting. He has questioned troopers’ response to the incident, and says his son was not armed with a firearm during the altercation with officers.

It’s unclear whether Yakunin threatened troopers with or used a weapon during the altercation.

Officer Kumfer was transported to South Peninsula Hospital with serious injuries. He remained hospitalized late Monday afternoon. Troopers say Kumfer has now been released.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident. After the investigation is over, the state office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals will determine if Sargent Cox’s use of force was lawful. The Department of Public Safety will also determine if his actions were in line with trooper policies.