Woman arrested in highway shooting
BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
HOMER NEWS STAFF WRITER
Alaska State Trooper investigators work at the crime scene late Sunday night near Mile 147 Sterling Highway where Tonee Walker, 58, of Anchor Point, allegedly shot at Alaska Wildlife Troopers Trent Chwialkowski. Walker's yellow Nissan XTR and Chwialkowski's patrol truck are in the center of the photo.
Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News
An Anchor Point woman charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on the Sterling Highway Sunday was arrested Thursday following her release from Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage. Tonee M. Walker, 58, was taken to the Anchorage Jail. Walker also faces four felony counts of third-degree assault for allegedly driving at or hitting other cars with drivers and passengers, including Trooper Trent Chwialkowski. Walker also was charged with reckless driving.
In a note found in Walker's car, she allegedly intended to commit suicide, writing that she wanted "to go out in a blaze."
Chwialkowski returned fire when Walker shot at him when he tried to stop her car. Walker suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and torso, but no one else was injured. Chwialkowski was placed on three-day administrative leave on Sunday.
According to a criminal complaint by Trooper Mark Pearson and filed in Homer Court on Thursday, at about 5:20 p.m. Sunday, troopers received numerous "report every dangerous driver immediately" calls of a woman driving a yellow Nissan XTR near Mile 153 Sterling Highway in the Anchor Point area. Walker, later identified as the driver and only person in the car, was charged with assaulting Randy and Nancy Boeshart of Kasilof when she rear ended their vehicle.
"All of a sudden, bam, it hit the back of our car," Randy Boeshart told the Homer News. "I didn't even see her in the rear view mirror."
The complaint also said that Walker turned around and drove south in the northbound lane, forcing cars to pull off the road. Walker also allegedly shot at other cars, Pearson wrote in his complaint. When Chwialkowski caught up with Walker near Stariski Creek about 6:15 p.m., she stopped and allegedly shot at him, hitting her own car and Chwialkowski's trooper patrol truck on the driver's side front grille. Chwialkowski bailed out of his truck, shot back, and hit her in the arm and torso.
Walker drove on, and then stopped near Mile 147. Anchor Point and Soldotna Troopers, Homer Police and members of the Southcentral emergency response team surrounded the Nissan. Walker gave up after about 30 minutes. Medics treated Walker at took her to South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, where she was later transported to Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage. The emergency response and trooper investigation closed the highway until about 11:45 p.m. Sunday, with more than 200 vehicles in both directions backed up.
When Walker gave herself up, troopers allege a loaded .44 caliber revolver fell out of the Nissan. Troopers also smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Walker and in the car. They found a case of beer in the front seat and an alleged suicide note in the car.
Trooper investigators interviewed Walker on Tuesday at Alaska Native Hospital. She said she was depressed at the loss of family members and wanted to commit suicide or have a trooper kill her if she couldn't, troopers alleged in the complaint. She said she planned to drive recklessly so troopers would be called and show the gun so they would shoot her. Walker said she did not remember shooting at Chwialkowski, the complaint said.
Walker does not have a criminal history, according to a search of online Alaska court records.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.