A Fairbanks, Ak. police officer who was shot earlier this month died Friday of complications from surgery related to his injuries, officials said.
Sgt. Allen Brandt, an 11-year veteran, had been hospitalized Thursday for a scheduled procedure to have shrapnel removed from his eye. Fairbanks Acting Police Chief Brad Johnson told reporters that Brandt had “suffered complications afterward which continued to deteriorate throughout the day and from which he was unable to recover.”
“Fairbanks lost a hero today,” an emotional Johnson said.
Brandt, a married father of four, was shot five times Oct. 16 while responding to a report of gunfire. Prosecutors said the officer was struck twice in the right leg, once in the left leg and once in the right foot. A grazing wound hit his right knee. Body armor stopped a shot to the chest, but at least two bullet fragments entered his right eye.
The suspect in the shooting, 29-year-old Anthony George Jenkins-Alexie, confessed to the shooting and wrote a letter of apology to Brandt.
“I am mental just a little bit,” the letter read in part. “You didn’t deserve it. I was seeking vengeance from [Fairbanks Police] for taking my relatives lives and closest friends. I was wrong.”
According to prosecutors, Jenkins-Alexie took Brandt’s gun from the officer’s hand while he was lying on the ground. He tried removing ammunition from Brandt’s duty belt but could not. He then stomped on Brandt’s head.
Brandt struggled to stand and tried to get away. Jenkins-Alexie followed, mocking him, then got into the patrol car and drove away, prosecutors said.
Jenkins-Alexie has been charged with attempted murder, assault, theft of a firearm, theft of a patrol car, evidence tampering, possession of a firearm as a felon and firing a gun at a building.
Fairbanks District Attorney Greg Olson said late Friday that his office was considering upgrading the attempted murder charge against Jenkins-Alexie to murder after Brandt’s death.
Brandt initially was released from an Anchorage hospital in time to address a Fairbanks city council meeting Oct. 24.
“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,” Brandt said in an address to the council. “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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