Fairbanks Police Chief Speaks About Officer Shooting

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A suspect in a multi-day crime spree led Fairbanks Police in a high speed chase that resulted in his death.

The Elliot Highway was shut down for multiple hours following the incident.

Garrett James Ebenal was shot by police after he approached them with a gun.

According to police, Ebenal was suspected of stealing a firearm from Walmart and then attempting to carjack a driver Saturday. According to charging documents he fled towards Fred Myer’s where he was given a ride.

"The message that I send is that, if you do that, we will stop you. We will protect this community and we will chase you and we will stop you," said Fairbanks Police Chief Eric Jewkes.

Tuesday FPD received a report of a carjacking on College Road. Around 30 minutes later an armed robbery was reported at a business on College Road.

Chief Jewkes said he blames Ebenal.

"I place this on the feet of Mr. Ebenal,” Jewkes said. “He made a series of bad decisions. He put the officers in a very difficult situation to make an instant decision to protect themselves and this community and that's hard, that's a very hard thing to do, we know that from experience in this department, and they did that for you."

A police detective spotted the stolen car on the Steese Highway and pursued the vehicle to the Hilltop Restaurant where it turned around. On its way back into town the driver lost control and went into the ditch while trying to avoid a semi-truck on the side of the road.

According to police Ebenal exited the vehicle with his gun drawn and came towards police who fired at him.

They administered first aid but he was pronounced dead on the scene.

"We don't forget the value of human life,” Chief Jewkes said. “We don't forget, despite all the bad things that Mr. Ebenal did leading up to this that he was still a human being."

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on a standard minimum three day administrative leave, and the incident is being investigated per department policy.