Anchorage police officers killed a man late Wednesday night after he pointed a handgun at them.
The shooting happened after 11pm in the parking lot of a Fred Meyer grocery store in the east Anchorage Muldoon area. In a press conference Thursday morning, Police Chief Justin Doll said officers were attempting to take 48-year-old Thomas Barclay into custody when he tried to flee. Doll says officers surrounded Barclay’s vehicle, pinning him in.
“Barclay pointed a weapon at the officers involved, and the officers fired on Barclay, killing him,” Doll said.
Barclay was pronounced dead at the scene. Three officers discharged weapons. As per APD policy, they’ve been placed on leave and won’t be publicly identified until 72 hours after the event. No officers on the scene were injured.
According to a police spokesperson, Barclay was wanted on several felony warrants, including assault, misconduct involving a weapon, reckless driving and a felony DUI.
The Department’s recently formed Investigative Support Unit had been attempting to locate Barclay for about a week. As police made contact, Barclay’s significant other was also on hand.
“She got out of the vehicle and was apprehended by police,” Doll said. “She was taken in for questioning but as of now as not been charged.”
Doll says the woman was uninjured during the incident.
This is the third time this year APD officers have been involved in a shooting, though none of the others in 2017 were lethal. The number of officer involved shootings spiked a few years ago, with five in 2012 and another five more the next year. Doll says each incident prompts review by the department.
“I think we have given officers additional tools to try to help reduce officer involved shootings and they’ve been trained in new tactics and so forth in the last few years,” Doll said. “But that’s kind of a normal, on-going process.”
The Office of Special Prosecution will review the case to determine whether the use of deadly force by officers was justified.