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A shooting claimed multiple lives in a tiny Alaska whaling village. Here's what to know

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A shooting at a home in a remote Inupiat whaling village on Alaska’s northwest coast has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries, but officials on Monday declined to offer more specifics, including the number of victims.

“Last night, incidents occurred in Point Hope that resulted in the loss of lives and injuries among our residents,” said a statement Monday from the North Slope Borough.

A suspect is in custody and officials said there was no ongoing risk to the community. The local school was closed Monday so the community could grieve and counseling was being made available, the statement said.

Sayers Tuzroyluk, Sr., chairman of the Tikigaq Corporation Board of Directors, refused to answer questions about what happened in Point Hope.

“It’s already out there there’s been a shooting at Point Hope and that’s as far as I’m going to go,” he said.

North Slope Borough spokesperson Araina Danner said the shooting happened in the overnight hours Sunday. She declined to say how many people were killed and how many injured, citing the ongoing investigation.

She also declined to say which law enforcement were involved in the investigation.

The statewide law enforcement agency, the Alaska State Troopers, has not been asked to assist at this point, spokesperson John Dougherty said in an email. He referred all other questions to the North Slope Borough.

Phones rang unanswered at both village and tribal offices in Point Hope on Monday.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he and his wife, Rose, were devasted by the “tragic shooting shooting.”

“Our hearts ache for the families and residents affected by this senseless act,” he wrote on Facebook, “We will continue to pray for healing and justice.”

Point Hope, with a population of about 675, was built on a triangular spit surrounded by a large inlet and the Chukchi and Arctic oceans. It is located about 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage.

The peninsula where Point Hope is located is one of the longest continually inhabited areas of North America, with some of its earliest residents crossing the Siberian land bridge about 2,000 years ago for bowhead whaling, the borough website said.

Russia is about 200 miles (322 kilometers) to the west of Point Hope, across the Chukchi Ocean.


Kelleher reported from Honolulu.

Mark Thiessen And Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, The Associated Press

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