Anchorage police shoot man they say pointed a BB gun at officers

Police investigate Dave Rose Park after a suspect was shot by police Monday morning. Police say the man pointed a BB gun at officers before being fired upon. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

Anchorage police say officers fired on a man who pointed a BB gun at them Monday morning. The man was hospitalized, and police say he’s expected to recover.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, at around 10:30 a.m., an officer was patrolling an East Anchorage neighborhood when they saw an adult male pointing what looked like a handgun at homes and people near Dave Rose Park.

Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll addresses media after an officer-involved shooting this morning. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

During a press conference held hours after the shooting, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said the man briefly tried evading arrest and was confronted by officers.

“The suspect manipulated the firearm that he had, and ultimately pointed it at officers, and three officers responded by firing their weapons,” Doll said.

Doll said the officers performed first aid on the man, and he was transported to the hospital. He said the man was armed with a replica Crosman BB gun.

“So this is something that looks just like an actual firearm,” Doll said. “And of course, it’s a BB gun so BB guns still shoot projectiles and can cause harm.”

The suspect’s name is being withheld at this time.

A stock photo of the Crossman replica 1911 BB gun (Image courtesy of Anchorage Police Department)

The park is expected to be closed for four to six hours as detectives and a crime scene unit examine the area.

The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave. Their names will be made public after 72 hours. The case is being handed over to the Office of Special Prosecution for review. The case is also being investigated by Internal Affairs.

Doll emphasized that when confronted by an officer, members of the public should follow their instructions, and anything that looks like a weapon should not be pointed at an officer.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at