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If you’ve ever doubted how real reality TV actually is, here’s a harsh reminder: Two lawmen from Alaska State Troopers were killed in the line of duty yesterday (May 1).


The two men — Sgt. Patrick “Scott” Johnson, 45, and Trooper Gabriel Rich, 26 — were providing backup to an unarmed security guard in Tanana, a remote Yukon River village 130 miles west of Fairbanks, reports People. The guard was reportedly involved in an altercation that broke out over a $150 couch. The act was “brutal” and “senseless,” says Alaska’s governor Sean Parnell.

Both Sgt. Johnson and Trooper Rich were members of the Fairbanks Rural Services Unit and have appeared on the National Geographic Channel series. “These fallen heroes answered the call to serve and protect and made the ultimate sacrifice while keeping our communities safe,” Gov. Parnell said of the deaths.

Two locals have been taken into custody following the shooting: 19-year-old Nathanial Lee Kangas is under arrest for both deaths, reports CNN, while 58-year-old Arvin Morse Kangas has been accused of fourth-degree assault and driving with a revoked license, both charges from another incident on Wednesday.

National Geographic Channel spokesman Chris Albert says the two troopers were not with a film crew at the time of their deaths and were not set to appear in any future episodes. Repeat episodes featuring them have been pulled.

Our thoughts are with Sgt. Johnson and Trooper Rich’s families and friends during this difficult time.

Sources: People, CNN, Alaska Dispatch


Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!