Man shot in front of Anchorage elementary school; suspect in custody

Anchorage police say a shooting in the parking lot of a downtown Anchorage elementary school Wednesday morning sent one man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries – after he ran to the entrance to the school, where medics found him. Police say the suspected shooter is in custody.

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Police say no students or staff were injured, and the school – Denali Montessori – was not targeted.

Police spokesperson MJ Thim says the men got into a fight in the parking lot related to an ongoing domestic dispute.

“They’re acquainted in some way. They have some sort of relationship,” Thim said. “What that is, we’re still trying to sort through. We’re confident that this is a domestic dispute.”

Shortly after the shooting, Thim said it was unclear why the men were in the parking lot – whether they were dropping off kids for school – or what the dispute was about.

Thim says the suspect shot the victim once in the upper body with a handgun, and the victim ran toward the school. Responding officers found the him at the front doors and found the suspect in the area as they converged on the school. School district officials say the school’s doors were locked already this morning, as is protocol.

Officers stayed on scene throughout the day, and the school had extra staff and counselors on hand.

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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org.