Man who pointed gun at officers shot dead, Anchorage police say

May 16—This article has been edited to show that Anchorage police said the man "raised" the gun toward officers, instead of "pointed" the gun.


Anchorage police say they are investigating the death of a man shot by officers in West Anchorage after he "raised" a gun at them.

No officers were injured in the shooting early Monday outside an apartment complex on Bearfoot Drive, south of Raspberry Road, police said in an alert.

Police responded to a report of a disturbance inside an apartment between a man and a woman, Chief Bianca Cross said at a briefing Monday morning.

As officers were on their way, callers told dispatchers the man had gone outside the apartment complex with a long gun, police said. Several officers arrived and formed two teams and moved toward the complex, they said.

The man "raised" the gun at the officers, Cross said. Four officers fired, hitting the man at least once in the upper body, she said.

The officers, and later Anchorage Fire Department medics, provided first aid but the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was not immediately identified, pending next-of-kin notification.

Cross did not answer questions about whether the man was threatening the woman with the gun or how the two people knew each other, citing the ongoing investigation. Body camera footage will be released once the investigation is complete, she said.

The shooting early Monday marks the fourth shooting involving Anchorage police officers since January 2023 and the second one involving a fatality, according to a police department spokeswoman.

The other fatal shooting occurred in July, when police shot and killed a 34-year-old man they said was holding a rifle next to an SUV pulled over on the South Birchwood exit ramp of the northbound Glenn Highway.

An unarmed man accused of attacking a woman was injured after being shot by an officer at a Midtown hotel in December when police said he brandished an object while in a shooting stance. Another man was shot by an officer along a Midtown road after pointing what was determined to be a pepper-spray gun at police, the department said at the time.

The state Office of Special Prosecutions will review the officers' use of force to determine whether it was justified, Cross said. The police department's internal affairs unit will also review their actions to determine whether it violated department policies, she said.

The four officers will be placed on four days of administrative leave as dictated by department policy, Cross said. Their names will be released 72 hours after the incident.