JUNEAU - A Hoonah man who police said they feared might be intent on harming himself was taken into custody over the weekend after a day-long search through the community.
Richard C. Kowalski, 64, was thought to have barricaded himself in his home on Thursday, and then headed into the woods with a pistol.
Hoonah Police Chief John Millan said they called for assistance from state Troopers from nearby communities and local fire and EMS personnel for the search.
The search was called off after police heard a gunshot while searching a densely-wooded area behind Kowalski's home.
"The darkness, the overgrowth, and the rugged bear-infested terrain posed a prohibitive situation for a night-time search," Millan said.
Police cordoned off a section of Gartenia Highway for approximately six hours, and asked citizens to remain in their homes.
Millan said Kowalski, who is well-liked in the community, did not threaten anyone and showed no aggression to officers or civilians and had broken no laws.
"We just backed away and gave him a little space," Millan said.
Saturday, Kowalski turned himself in and was taken in to custody. He was transported to Juneau for a mental health evaluation.
"We're just glad that no one in the community was harmed and we were able to avoid bloodshed," Millan said.
Millan thanked State Troopers and Hoonah EMS and Fire Department for their fast response to assist with the incident. It was the first time in recent memory that Hoonah has had to call on the Troopers for tactical help, he said.
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