Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Iraq Veteran Killed in Police Standoff

Police kill Eagle River veteran after standoff near Denver
Chugiak Eagle River Star
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A former Eagle River resident and Marine reservist was shot and killed by police after a standoff near Denver on Friday.
According to the Denver Post, police in Englewood, Colorado were called Friday afternoon for a report that an armed man was barricaded inside a home holding several hostages. During the incident, police fatally shot Michael Kocher, 32, in the torso.

Kocher was profiled in a 2009 story in the Alaska Star in which he talked about a recent seven-month tour of duty in Iraq. In the story, Lance Cpl. Kocher is described as having worked in intelligence and communications while deployed with Delta Company, 4th Anti-Terrorism Battalion. He shared fond memories of sharing candy with Iraqi children while deployed with the Marines.

“All the convoys would take candy to toss to the kids,” he said, according to the profile written by Jill Fankhauser. “I’d always read that there were groups that would send over shipments of soccer balls and things like that to handout.”

Kocher told the Star he enlisted the help of his mother in Eagle River, who got donations of soccer balls, candy and stuffed animals for her son to give away to kids in Iraq. He also mused about missing home while deployed near the Syrian border and said he wasn’t a supporter of the war but wanted to serve despite his misgivings.

“Even when the war started, I didn’t particularly agree with the war,” he told the Star. “I knew other people my age there, so I figured I ought to be with them.”

According to the article, the 6-foot-8 Kocher studied political science at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he was the first person to win a designated on-campus parking spot, the university reported in 2009.
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