A Manokotak man shot and killed a Village Public Safety Officer late Tuesday afternoon in Manokotak about 25 miles southwest of Dillingham, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Troopers alleged 42-year-old Leroy B. Dick Jr. of shooting 54-year-old Thomas O. Madole around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Troopers flew into the community within an hour of receiving the report. Madole was found dead outside of a home "of an apparent gunshot wound," according to troopers. AST found Dick Jr. near Madole's body and troopers said Dick Jr. turned himself in.
He was placed in custody at the Dillingham jail, pending charges of murder in the first degree. He will be arraigned in Dillingham court once he has been formally charged.
"Well, I'm pretty sure everybody else is shocked just like I was," said Gayle Bartman, Manokotak resident. "Our VPSO fit well within our community, he knew everybody."
"Our condolences go out to the family and to the other VPSOs," said Col. Keith Mallard, Dir. Alaska State Troopers. "We lost one of ours and it’s going to be a hard thing to deal with."
Madole was of one of two VPSOs based in Manokotak, which is about 347 miles southwest of Anchorage. He was assigned to the village since August 2011. Col. Mallard said the other VPSO was attending training.
Investigators with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation were flying to the community Tuesday night. Col. Mallard said investigators will process the scene as soon they arrive and will try to get Madole's body to the State Medical Examiner's Office by midday Wednesday.
Bartman says, "Everyone within the small community knows everybody else, so it's really shocking to hear that a community this small can go through such a tragedy."
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.
Editor's Note: KTUU's Maria Downey contributed to this story.
Contact Neil Torquiano