Troopers end armed assault without injury

An Alaska State Troopers encounter last week with two armed men in Anchor Point ended peacefully when both suspects surrendered their weapons. Troopers David Chaffin and Luke Kumfer both carried AR-15 semiautomatic military-style assault rifles during the incident. Chaffin held his fire when troopers said one suspect, Richard Strassburg, 46, pulled a black handgun from behind his back and moved it in front of his body. Chaffin pointed his gun at Strassburg, said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters. Fortunately, Strassburg dropped the gun.

“The goal during any trooper contact is for everyone to walk away from a situation alive and well,” Peters said.

Strassburg and Donovan Lee, 39, were charged with two counts each of third-degree assault for putting the troopers in fear of serious injury, a felony. Both were arrested and Lee remains in jail.

According to a criminal complaint and a trooper press release, at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 6, Chaffin and Kumfer went to Louis Huber Avenue in Anchor Point for a report of a disturbance with shots fired at a home. 

As troopers walked up the driveway, they could hear two men arguing. Chaffin identified himself and Kumfer as troopers and ordered both to get on the ground. Chaffin said he could see each man had a silver handgun in their right hands.

Lee turned and started running into the woods and had to be ordered several times to drop his gun. Lee threw the gun behind him. Strassburg dropped the silver handgun, but then put his right hand behind his back.

Chaffin ordered him several times to show his hand, but he did not comply, Chaffin said. Eventually Strassburg moved his right hand from behind his back and held a black handgun. Strassburg moved the gun in front of his body and then dropped it, Chaffin wrote in the complaint. 

Until Strassburg dropped both weapons, Chaffin feared that he and Kumfer might be shot, Peters said.

Troopers go through scenario-based training that includes armed encounters, Peters said. Troopers train to stop a threat, and if they believe it necessary to fire weapons, as is the practice with most law enforcement agencies in the United States, they aim at the center mass of an assailant — the chest and upper torso. 

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

A school closure announcement from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
Schools closed for Tuesday in Homer, Anchor Point

Winter storm continues through Tuesday morning, with high winds.

Coast Guardsmen and state employees load the Together Tree bound for the Alaska Governor’s Mansion on a truck on Nov. 29, 2021 after the Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry transported the tree from Wrangell. (USCG photo / Petty Officer 2nd Class Lexie Preston)
Governor’s mansion tree arrives in Juneau

No weather or floating lines could stay these Coast Guardsmen about their task.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

Schools are delayed two hours Thursday, Dec. 9.
Two-hour school delay Thursday affects Homer, Anchor Point, Ninilchik schools

Bus routes and classes will begin two hours later than normal Thursday, Dec. 9.

Diamond Ridge Road near Homer, Alaska, had been plowed on Monday morning, Dec. 5, 2021, but visibility was limited. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district announces 90-minute early release today.

Winter storms makes driving difficult on southern Kenai Peninsula.

A reader board sign on the Sterling Highway announces COVID-19 testing and vaccines at the South
Anchor Point man dies of COVID-19

Death rate of COVID-19 is now 17 since start of the pandemic.

Rep. Chris Kurka, R-Wasilla, leaves the chambers of the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, March 19, 2021, after an hour of delays concerning the wording on his mask. On Monday, Kurka announced he was running for governor in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Wasilla rep announces gubernatorial bid

Kurka said he was motivated to run by a sense of betrayal from Dunleavy.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Bycatch becomes hot issue

Dunleavy forms bycatch task force.

fund
Study: PFD increases spending on kids among low-income families

New study looks at PFD spending by parents

Most Read