An 18-year-old Alaska man just out of jail for assault has been charged with killing four members of his family, including two cousins ages 7 and 10, charging documents released Tuesday said.
Alaska State Troopers say another 6-year-old was apparently spared during the early Monday morning shooting spree north of Anchorage because of defective bullets.
Malachi Maxon has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, among other charges, and he will be arraigned Wednesday. He has been assigned a public defender, and an email sent to the Public Defender Agency in Palmer was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Maxon is accused of first shooting an 18-year-old cousin, Cody Roehl, at a home near Wasilla early Monday morning and stealing a vehicle and a semiautomatic Glock pistol, charging documents filed by Alaska State Trooper Ted Nordgaarden said. Roehl was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Maxon then drove to nearby Palmer, where authorities say he broke into a home through a basement window where he shot his aunt and two cousins.
Responding officers found his aunt, 43-year-old Kimora Buster, dead on the floor. In a bedroom, they found a boy, 7-year-old Ellison Buster, dead in his bed, and 10-year-old Sienna Buster injured in her bed. She was also taken to a hospital, where she later died, authorities said.
The charging documents say a 6-year-old, only identified as AB in the documents, was found in the bed with Ellison and was not injured. Police found a number defective cartridges on the flood.
“The scene revealed spent cartridge casings outside the broken front window, and the number of bullets fired at each person appeared to be about the same, with the exception of Ellison. In the bed where Ellison and AB were found, there were several more bullet defects than there were with the other bodies that indicated Maxon was likely trying to shoot AB, who was sleeping near the wall,” the charging documents said.
Maxon was later apprehended while driving on the only highway between Anchorage and Palmer. Once in custody, and being transferred between facilities, authorities said Maxon attempted to pull a gun from a trooper’s holster and escape before being subdued.
On Nov. 23, Maxon was released from custody after an arrest for family assault, with no further clarification. The charging documents say Maxon had been living with his aunt and cousins the last few days.
The charging documents did not indicate a motive for the shootings.
When Maxon was photographed following his arrest, troopers found lacerations and other wounds on his legs that appeared to have been caused by broken glass. An audio recording from a surveillance camera in the home caught the sounds of the shooting and glass breaking. The charging documents also allege the recording captured sounds of Maxon walking over the broken glass as he climbed through the broken window to leave.