Trooper involved in shooting identified

Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers have released the name of the officer who fatally shot a naked man holding a knife.

Officials say the trooper, Gary Tellep, and three medics responding to a 911 call Tuesday found Thom G. Gruenig with a knife in his hand. After Gruenig refused commands to drop the knife, Tellep fatally shot the man.

Authorities then discovered the body of Gruenig's 66-year-old mother, Kathryn, who had been fatally stabbed.

Officials say substance abuse may have been played a role in Gruenig's behavior. Troopers found thousands of small nitrous oxide containers in the home. Nitrous oxide, commonly used by dentists, can cause depersonalization, dizziness, euphoria and mild hallucinations.

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