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Alaska trooper’s gun malfunctioned in shootout with suspect

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The gun of an Alaska state trooper shot while trying to serve an arrest warrant malfunctioned during the encounter, charging documents said.

The trooper underwent several surgeries after Monday’s shooting, according to an affidavit signed by an investigator for the agency, Timothy Cronin, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Wednesday.

The shooting happened outside of a general store in Anchor Point when trooper Bruce Brueggeman attempted to serve an arrest warrant to Bret Herrick, 60.

Herrick was arrested a day later near his home. He has been charged with attempted murder and first-degree assault in the shooting, and was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Attempts to reach a public defender representing Herrick were not immediately successful Thursday. A woman who answered the phone at the agency’s office in Kenai said she had no one available to speak before hanging up.

According to the affidavit, another officer was trying to find Herrick, who had been seen at the store Monday.

Brueggeman went to the store as a backup but arrived before the other officer. Brueggeman saw Herrick outside and ordered him to stop. Instead, he started walking away and Brueggeman quickened his pace to catch up, the affidavit said.

At that point, the document said, Herrick pulled out a handgun and fired toward the trooper, hitting Brueggeman several times in the ballistic vest he was wearing and the upper left arm and causing significant injury and bleeding.

The charging document says five spent .45-caliber casings suspected to have been from Herrick’s gun were found, along with one .40-caliber casing believed to have come from Brueggeman’s gun.

Brueggeman “reported experiencing a malfunction of his duty weapon during the exchange of gunfire,” the affidavit said.

Brueggeman underwent surgery at an Anchorage hospital and his condition was upgraded to good condition on Thursday, Mike Canfield, a spokesperson for Providence Alaska Medical Center, said in an email.


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