The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Standoff leads to suicide attempt police say

Cops spend three hours coaxing man out of home in Alpine Woods


Steve Revis photo

Valdez police had guns drawn Monday morning when a domestic violence call took a bad turn when the alleged perpetrator refused to surrender for questioning and later shot himself before voluntarily giving up.

Valdez man Nicolas Huff was air-flighted to an Anchorage hospital Monday after he apparently shot himself in the chest with a small caliber firearm during a two-hour standoff with police.

Police declined to state the caliber of the bullet shot.

Huff, age 27, had barricaded himself in his parent’s home on Chalet Dr. in Alpine Woods after Valdez police attempted to make contact with Huff during an investigation into a domestic violence report.

The saga began at 9:22 a.m. according to a city press release, when police responded to a report of a possible domestic violence assault.

According to Sheri Pierce, the city’s public information officer, a female that had been badly beaten was located inside her vehicle in the parking lot of the Eagles Rest apartments near the Mile 4 area of the Richardson Highway. While the alleged victim did not make the initial call to police, officers made initial contact with Huff at 10:20 a.m. after the victim was sent to Providence Valdez Medical Center.

“The victim was contacted and transported to Providence Valdez Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the assault,” a city press release issued early Monday evening said. “The victim is reported to be in stable condition.”

Trouble with Huff began as soon as police arrived at the Chalet Dr. residence.

“They tried to make contact with” Huff, Pierce said as the saga unfolded Monday. “He would not allow them entry into the house.”

The press release said Huff also indicated that he was armed.

Police then established a perimeter around the home and initiated contact.

City officials also alerted area residents that entry to and from Chalet Dr. was restricted during the standoff as armed police surrounded the home and blocked off the street.

“They have taken the perimeter,” Pierce said as the drama was still unfolding, “and they don’t want anyone in the area.”

At 12:29 p.m. police heard what was described as “gunshots” coming from the home.

“The officers heard gunshots in the house,” Pierce said.

Huff then voluntarily “exited the residence with a confirmed self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest area,” the press release said.

An ambulance was already on standby during the standoff. The shots were heard at 12:29 according to Pierce. EMTs made contact with Huff at 12:31 and the ambulance was on its way to the hospital by 12:35.

“He’s surrendered,” Pierce said shortly after the incident. “He has a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The bullet alleged passed through Huff’s chest and exited through his back.

Police referred the case to the District Attorney’s office for possible charges against Huff.

Steve Revis

Valdez police regroup early Monday afternoon in the wake of a standoff where Valdez man Nicholas Huff shot himself after holding police at bay with threats of firearm violence.

“Contact has been made with the District Attorney and charges by VPD are pending at this time,” the city press release said. “Further information regarding charges will be released as available.”

Pierce had no additional information on the case Tuesday morning and no information regarding the full nature of possible charges may be brought against Huff.

“They were talking to the DA and at this point had not pressed any charges,” she said in an interview Tuesday morning.

Valdez Police Chief Bill Comer had not returned phone calls to the Valdez Star by press time regarding the incident.

The investigation into the initial domestic violence complaint against Huff is ongoing according to Pierce; she declined comment on questions regarding possible kidnap charges but did state the initial assault occurred at the same house where Huff allegedly shot himself.

“It occurred at the residence on Chalet,” she said of the domestic assault.


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