FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Fairbanks police have released the name of an officer who shot and killed a man who took a hostage while fleeing authorities

Police in a Friday release identified the officer as Sgt. Gregory Foster, an 18-year department veteran. Authorities earlier identified the suspect killed Tuesday as 28-year-old James Robert Richards.

Officers had responded to a report of shots fired at a motel room, where the shooter and a group of people struggled before Richards fled on foot.

Police pursued Richards through a restaurant parking lot. Police say Richards grabbed an elderly man from a bus stop during the pursuit and ignored commands to drop his weapon. Police unsuccessfully used a stun gun on Richards before Foster shot him twice.

The hostage, who was being held by the arm, was not injured.

Results of a law enforcement investigation will be turned over to the state attorney general’s office to determine if deadly force was warranted.


This story has been corrected to spell the officer’s name as Foster not Fosters in the fourth paragraph.