Anchorage logs 28th homicide of 2018 as gun sale goes awry

Blood on snow at the scene of a double homicide in Anchorage. (Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media photo)

Two men killed each other on a West Anchorage side street Sunday in what police said was supposed to be the sale of a gun from one to the other.

According to a written statement from Anchorage police, the men met in a pickup on West 29th Avenue a little after 5 p.m. Sunday to discuss the gun sale, then got into an argument that resulted in both being killed. Police say neighbors heard shots and found both men dead.

Police on Tuesday identified the two men as Daniel L. Bender Jr. and Davon M. Dodge, both 19. Police have not said yet why they believe the men got into an argument.

Homicide detectives were in the neighborhood Monday looking for surveillance camera footage. They said one of the men was in the process of moving to the quiet residential area of single-family homes and small apartment buildings.

The detectives said information on the apparent gun sale came from friends of one of the deceased and that police are still working to prove or disprove that theory.

The two deaths bring the number of homicides in Anchorage this year to 28. Last year, the city had the most homicides on record with 35, surpassing — by one death — a record set just one year earlier, in 2016.

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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