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Suspect in slaying of 2 Alaska police officers surrenders

By the CNN Wire Staff
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: John Marvin Jr. is charged with two counts of first-degree murder
  • NEW: Flags are ordered lowered to half-staff across the state
  • Standoff began after two police officers were shot late Saturday
  • The officers' deaths leave the small town of Hoonah with only one officer
RELATED TOPICS
  • Alaska
  • Police
  • U.S. Coast Guard

(CNN) -- A 45-year-old man who barricaded himself in his home after allegedly shooting two rural Alaska police officers to death surrendered Monday morning and was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, authorities said.

John Marvin Jr. gave up without incident around 9:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. ET), according to a statement from the Division of Alaska State Troopers.

Hoonah, Alaska, officers Matthew Tokuoka, 39, and Sgt. Anthony Wallace, 32, were shot Saturday in what troopers described as an ambush. Both officers later died from their injuries.

Gov. Sean Parnell ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff Monday in honor of the fallen officers, calling their deaths "a tragic loss for Alaska and the community of Hoonah."

"These men had a passion for serving and protecting Alaskans and our state is better because of their commitment to excellence," Parnell said in a statement.

After the shooting, Marvin barricaded himself inside his home, according to Alaska television station KTUU.

State troopers sent several special emergency response teams, and police from Juneau also deployed a tactical team, Alaska State Troopers said in a news release. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted in bringing resources into Hoonah, an Alaska Panhandle town on an island about 62 miles north of Sitka, Alaska, and 68 miles west of Juneau by ferry.

"We are thankful this incident resolved without further loss of life or injury," Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety Joe Masters said. "Now that this incident has resolved, the community of Hoonah can hopefully start the healing process.

The shooting leaves the town of Hoonah, which has a population of about 800 people, with only one police officer -- the police chief, TV station KTUU said. State troopers were providing staffing for Hoonah police.

Businesses in the area were shut down, according to KTUU, and residents were asked to stay indoors and away from the area until the standoff ended.

"We heard a gunshot and one of my co-workers looked out the window and he saw one policeman down," witness Dirk Knehr told the television station. "He'd been shot, and another policeman was trying to drag him away and the suspect shot him twice. And then he just took off."

Little was known about Marvin, KTUU said. "The only information we have is that he's had problems with law enforcement in that community in the past, and there were some issues of stability," Alaska State Troopers Capt. Barry Wilson told the station.

The shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, KTUU said.

Wallace began working with Hoonah police in 2008, according to the station. He was a 2008 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, and a former campus police officer at the school.

"Tony, who was hard-of-hearing, proved remarkable at many levels," the institute said in a statement on its website. After joining campus police, he went on to attend the police academy, where he graduated as class valedictorian. An All-American wrestler, he was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

The institute's statement quoted from an interview Wallace did last year with the university's news department. "I hope that people who are in the same situation as I am see my story and begin to believe that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it," he said. "Anything and everything is possible, it's just a matter of how bad you want it and how far you are willing to go to prove to people that you are worthy of whatever career you want to pursue."

Tokuoka, a former Marine Corps staff sergeant, was a native of Hawaii who had been with Hoonah police since 2009, KTUU said.

Planning for a memorial service for the fallen officers is under way.

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