As two state troopers struggled to arrest his father, a 19-year-old man armed himself with an assault rifle and shot them seven times, killing them outside his home in a remote Alaska village, authorities said in charges filed yesterday. Nathanial Lee Kangas appeared in a Fairbanks court two days after Trooper Gabriel "Gabe" Rich and 45-year-old Sgt. Patrick "Scott" Johnson were shot to death. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and a count of third-degree assault. Bail was set at $2 million, and he faces more than 200 years in prison if convicted, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.
After bail was set, the judge asked Kangas if he had anything to say regarding the bail. After a long pause, Kangas replied only, "I'm sorry." Officers hugged and consoled each other at the hearing. The troopers had gone to arrest Kangas' father for driving with a revoked license and for misdemeanor assault; according to authorities, the father had driven his car while appearing drunk, challenged a public officer to a fight, and threatened to shoot him with a rifle. Kangas apologized when he was arrested, saying he "shot troopers because the troopers were wrestling" with his father. (Read more state troopers stories.)