An Alaska Native leader said his 14-year-old son was stabbed and killed by another family member Wednesday in the North Slope hub city of Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow.
Crawford Patkotak said the youngest of his four sons, Crawford Sue Patkotak, was getting ready for school when he was stabbed by a nephew who’d been staying with the Patkotaks.
“Something happened — something happened with him, he must have snapped,” Patkotak said. He added: “We lost our son.”
North Slope Borough police, in a prepared statement, said they responded to the Utqiaġvik hospital at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday “for the reported death of a juvenile.”
“The circumstances of the death are currently under investigation. There is no public safety concern to the residents of Utqiagvik to report,” the statement said.
Deputy Chief Jeff Brown declined to answer questions about the death, or the investigation.
The elder Patkotak is a whaling captain and chairs the board of Arctic Slope Regional Corp., the Alaska Native corporation with vast land holdings on the North Slope. ASRC is one of the state’s largest private employers, with subsidiaries in oil and gas, construction and financial services.
In an emotional phone interview Thursday morning, Patkotak said he and his wife, Laura, were in Anchorage on Wednesday for the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention when they learned what happened and flew back to Utqiaġvik.