Sturgis native dies after being shot while a police officer in Alaska
STURGIS, Mich. — A Sturgis High School graduate and officer with the Fairbanks Police Department in Alaska has died after being shot on the job.
Brandt died of complications after surgery after being shot in Fairbanks early October 16, CNN reports. Brandt was wearing body armor, but was struck by bullets in a leg and shrapnel in an eye.
The father-of-four had been well enough to speak at a community council meeting earlier this week, at which he said that he had predicted to his family that he would be shot.
The Sturgis Police Department released the following statement:
“The Officers of the Sturgis Police Department would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Sgt. Allen Brandt. Sgt. Brandt a graduate of Sturgis High School and member of the Fairbanks Alaska Police Department passed away this evening from complications related to the injuries he sustained in a line of duty shooting last week. Please keep the Brandt family, friends and members of the Fairbanks Alaska Police Department in your thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks.”
Announcing his colleague’s death Friday, Fairbanks’ Acting Police Chief Brad Johnson said the city had lost a hero.
“I’m sorry to have to let you know that earlier this afternoon, Sgt. Allen Brandt lost the fight. He had surgery yesterday and suffered complications afterward, which continued to deteriorate through the day and from which he was unable to recover,” Johnson said. The surgery was related to the injuries Brandt suffered in the shooting, according to a police statement.
“Our community, this department, our families, our friends are hurting. We thank you for all the support you’ve given us so far and we ask for more for his family for your department and for yourselves, let’s help each other heal and work through this together.”
‘I think I’m going to get shot’
Brandt had worked with the Fairbanks Police Department since 2005.
Addressing the city council after a resolution honoring him Monday, Brandt said that he was humbled. “We have many fine officers that are far greater and have done better things than I have.”
He described living with the danger associated with police work.
“I travel everywhere armed, always vigilant , always watching — and the other officers over there, they’re the same way,” he said.
“The night that I was shot I had my four kids and my wife on my bed and I read them a story, like I do.
“After the story I told them ‘I think I’m going to get shot tonight.’ And in the middle of a gun battle that’s all I could think about.”
Brandt said his wife thought the first two people to call her about the shooting were playing a cruel practical joke on her.
“But can you imagine telling your kids before you go to work that you’re going to get shot? Well that’s what our police officers deal with every day. And I’m not complaining, but I just want you to know what it’s like — the life of a police officer.”
Brandt said a bullet had been fired at his heart and that his body armor had saved him — but that he had seen the “hand of the Lord” during the attack.
“Can you believe I was shot five times in the legs and I walked into this room,” he asked the meeting.
In a statement issued October 16, Fairbanks Police said police had responded to reports of shots fired shortly after midnight that day.
As multiple calls came into the Dispatch Center, Sgt. Brandt radioed that he had been shot.
After shooting Sgt. Brandt, the suspect fled the scene in Brandt’s patrol car. A few blocks away the patrol car was recovered.
Police released dashcam footage of the incident. It appears to show a man brandishing a firearm approaching the patrol car and later walking away from the car in what appears to be a different location.
Anthony George Jenkins-Alexie, aged 29, was arrested October 19 and subsequently charged with attempted murder, assault, vehicle theft, firearm theft and tampering with physical evidence.
Announcing the charges at a media conference last week, Johnson said Jenkins-Alexie had a lengthy criminal history and had previously made threats against law enforcement.
“After interviewing him and based on his own admissions and significant corroborating evidence. I can assure the community that he acted alone and that there is no continuing threat to my fellow police officers or citizens.”
A candlelit vigil was held at the Fairbanks Police Department Friday following the news that Brandt had died.
CNN contributed to this report.