Fatal Alaska ambush witnessed by one cop's family
Sgt. Tony Wallace and Officer Matt Tokuoka were ambushed by a 45-year-old Hoonah resident identified as John Marvin Jr.
The scenic Village of Hoonah, Alaska is a small Tlingit community of 800 — the Tlingit are an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast — that lost two of its three full-time police officers to gunfire late Saturday night. In yet another law enforcement ambush, the officers killed in the attack were Sgt. Tony Wallace and Officer Matt Tokuoka, ambushed by a 45-year-old Hoonah resident identified as John Marvin Jr.
Marvin was known to the police from prior contacts, but his motive for the brutal attack is not clear. Hoonah Mayor Windy Skaflestad told KRBD radio that about one year ago Marvin tried to wrestle Sgt. Wallace’s weapon away from the officer. The mayor speculated, “He picked on the wrong person when he went after to wrestle Tony, because Tony is a wrestler, a state wrestler champ. But they had quite a bit of bump-ins with him for about a month or two about a year ago. So I think that’s what set all this off.”
Matt Tokuoka was off duty at the time of the attack. Matt was with his wife Haley, their six-year-old son, and their two-year-old daughter. The family had just left Matt’s father-in-law’s home, where they had spent the evening with his wife’s family. Matt had stopped his car to talk with Wallace, who was on duty. Wallace and Tokuoka were engaged in a conversation, when John Marvin approached and opened fire on Wallace without warning. As Wallace went down, Tukuoka exited his car in an attempt to assist and told his wife to “get away!” Marvin then shot Tokuoka in front of his wife and children.
To add to the outrageousness of this act, Wallace’s mother, who was up from Florida visiting her son, also witnessed the shooting. Sgt. Wallace died while in surgery in Juneau, which is 40 miles to the west of Hoonah. Officer Tokuoka was pronounced dead early Sunday in the clinic in Hoonah.
Two Extraordinary Young Men
Prior to coming to the Hoonah Police Department Officer Tokuoka was Staff Sergeant Matt Tukuoka of the United States Marine Corps, serving in special operations.
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