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Monday, April 9, 2012

Court documents: Former cop threatened to 'kill the world'

JUNEAU EMPIRE
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Latest by 44 years 40 weeks ago

A former Juneau police lieutenant and SWAT instructor who fired 75 to 100 shots at police officers Saturday night didn’t just open fire on them blindly.

According to charging documents filed by prosecutors Monday, he targeted them.

Using night vision devices, Troy A. Wilson, 45, told police he could see the scopes on JPD officers’ rifles, and that “if he sees them, they’re dead,” District Attorney David Brower wrote in an affidavit.

“I have positions in my house, ammunition, and it’s not going to be pretty,” Wilson told JPD officers who were trying to negotiate with him by phone, the court documents state.

Wilson said he was going to “kill the world” and he was going to shoot anyone who came within 1,000 yards of his house on Black Wolf Way near the Montana Creek area.

“Anyone who comes within 1,000 yards of my house will be dead,” the affidavit quotes Wilson as saying. “It’s time to get this thing done.”

The stand-off ended after five hours when Wilson surrendered early Sunday morning. No one was injured or even hit in the incident, police said.

JPD spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills told the Empire on Monday that just before Wilson’s resignation on Dec. 31, he was under investigation for off-duty behavior that allegedly violated police policy and procedure.

Brown-Mills didn’t specify what the behavior was, citing personnel matters, but she said it was associated with a psychological condition.

“At the time of his resignation, Lt. Wilson was actively seeking treatment to deal with the underlying issues,” Brown-Mills stated in an email.

Brown-Mills said she couldn’t comment on if police ever concluded that investigation, and if so, what those findings were.

Police had originally responded to Wilson’s home at about 10:15 p.m. on Saturday when they received a 911 phone call from his 45-year-old wife, who is only identified in court documents as “J.W.”

She told the 911 dispatcher her husband was suicidal and had a gun. She screamed, ‘Troy! No! No!’” and then the phone went dead, according to Brower’s affidavit. But she was able to escape to a neighbor’s house shortly thereafter, Brower said.

Before the shooting rampage began, Wilson, who was wearing an armored vest, warned officers on the phone that “Anyone who comes down my street, they are going to die,” the affidavit states.

“They’re done,” Wilson said, according to the document, adding he wouldn’t negotiate. “If they f--- with me, they are going to die. I know they’re going to. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but am on edge. I will kill the world. I need some time, and maybe I will feel different in 3 or 4 hours, but right now I am getting rifles in place and ready to fight. At the end of the night I won’t be alive.”

One police officer, Lee Phelps, was stationed behind some trees behind Wilson’s house, and said he could hear bullets hitting all around him.

“He thought he was going to die,” Brower wrote, stating a bullet hole was later found in a tree behind where Phelps was stationed.

JPD Officer Brandon Lawrenson also said rounds were coming past him and hitting around him, as did officers Joseph Heynen and Nick Garza, Brower said.

Sgt. Chris Gifford stated he saw a distinct muzzle flash and heard gunfire, and believed he was being shot at, Brower said. Another officer, who was of the first to arrive on scene, Darin Shultz, had quickly exited his patrol vehicle, and that cruiser was later found to have about eight bullet holes in it, Brower said.

Brower indicated Wilson was shooting from the open front door as well as the upstairs of his house, where officers could see muzzle flashes from the windows on the side and back of the house.

Numerous spent shell casings from both handguns and high-powered rifles were later found inside the house, Brower said.

After talking to Investigator Kim Horn for about 4 1/2 hours on the phone, Wilson came out of his house and placed two handguns on the ground near the garage. He went back inside the house, but surrendered shortly after that. He had four to five loaded handgun clips on him when he was apprehended, Brower said.

Brown-Mills said police did not fire back at Wilson and would not discuss the rules of engagement.

“We are not going to discuss police tactics,” she said in an email Monday.

Wilson was taken to jail and charged with first-degree attempted murder for firing a rifle at Phelps, as well as a host of other charges. In all, he faces eight felony counts.

Court documents show he was arraigned over the weekend, and that a magistrate judge set bail at $500,000 cash.

Wilson indicated he probably wouldn’t qualify for court-appointed counsel and that he would try to hire his own attorney. He did not enter a plea.

The judge prohibited him from contacting his wife or any of the officers listed in the criminal complaint. He’s also prohibited from returning to his residence if he is released on bail.

Wilson is scheduled to appear in Juneau District Court on Tuesday afternoon for further proceedings.

Police initially estimated that Wilson fired approximately 75 shots. Brower in court on Sunday said it could have been as many as 100, according to court notes.

The only first reported damage was to a police vehicle that had six to eights bullets in, police said. Brower wrote that a police officer, Shulz, was positioned next to the car across the street from Wilson’s home, and that it took a round in the radiator.

Homes were also hit, Brower wrote. One house took two bullets, and another resident said his was hit with one bullet, Brower wrote.

Wilson is a 17-year Juneau Police Department veteran. He was hired in September of 1994 and promoted to the rank of a lieutenant six years ago in February of 2006, Brown-Mills said.

During his 17-year tenure, Wilson headed the investigation unit, and he was also a school resouce officer, Empire archives show. Brower wrote that Wilson is also a former SWAT instructor.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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Latest by 44 years 40 weeks ago