An Alaska police officer shot in the line of duty two weeks ago has died of complications after surgery.
Sgt. Allen Brandt was shot on patrol after responding to reports of gunfire in Fairbanks early October 16.
Brandt was wearing body armor, but was struck by bullets and shrapnel in the legs and 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.
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.