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Crime & Courts

Man hurt after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement in Dillingham now charged with attempted murder

A 32-year-old man was charged with attempted murder and multiple counts of assault this week for his role in a standoff that erupted into a volley of gunfire with law enforcement officers in Dillingham last month, troopers said.

On Feb. 18, Dillingham police received a report of an intoxicated driver who was stuck in a ditch just after 11:30 a.m., according to a probable cause statement filed by Dillingham Assistant District Attorney William Vitkus. In a subsequent call, police were told that Daniel Wahl had a gun to his head, according to the statement.

Dillingham Police Chief Dan Pasquariello tried to talk with Wahl by loudspeaker and phone when he reached the scene around noon, the probable cause statement said. Wahl refused to communicate with officers but eventually called dispatchers and said he “would start shooting if the cops did not back off,” Vitkus wrote.

Just before 12:30 p.m., officers heard five shots coming from the red Dodge Dakota that Wahl was inside, the probable cause statement said. Officer Daniel Gonzalez-Fawcett saw bullets hitting a snow berm on the passenger side of the vehicle, according to the probable cause statement.

Dillingham police requested assistance from Alaska State Troopers. When troopers arrived, Sgt. Aaron Mobley tried to communicate with Wahl, who then began firing shots toward law enforcement, the probable cause statement said.

Mobley fired back with his patrol rifle, and two other troopers and Gonzalez-Fawcett joined suit, according to the probable cause statement.

Eventually a ceasefire was reached and an injured Wahl reportedly indicated to a family member and law enforcement that he was suicidal, the probable cause statement said. As his condition worsened, Wahl requested help and he was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to his chest, Vitkas wrote.

Officials from the troopers’ Special Emergency Reaction Team said Wahl’s gunshot wound was consistent with a pistol, although none of the officers involved reported firing a pistol, according to the probable cause statement. During an investigation of the crime scene, a semi-automatic pistol was found between the driver’s seat and door of Wahl’s vehicle, the probable cause statement said.

Wahl received medical treatment at an Anchorage hospital, troopers said in a report three days after the incident. Troopers Adam Jackson and Benjamin Turner were also identified in the report as officers who fired their weapons during the exchange of gunfire.

Wahl was arrested Wednesday after he was released from the hospital, troopers said.

He’s facing charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree misconduct involving weapons, five counts of third-degree assault, fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons and a charge of driving under the influence.

Troopers said in a statement that Wahl is being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on $100,000 bail.