Police shoot Eagle River neighborhood gunman who injured 1

Anchorage Police Department downtown headquarters on June 9, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage police say an officer shot a man who had fired a semi-automatic rifle into one of his neighbor’s homes, and possibly other homes, Thursday morning in Eagle River.

One neighbor was injured. The suspect was also injured in the subsequent officer-involved shooting, said police, who have not released the man’s name.

Police Chief Justin Doll told reporters later Thursday that investigators believe the man had been shooting while moving around the neighborhood on Steeple Drive, a winding road on the hilly outskirts of Eagle River.

A resident at a home into which the man shot called 911 about 6:20 a.m., Doll said.

“It was a very large police response, as you could imagine, somebody actively shooting in a neighborhood,” Doll said. “The suspect fired multiple shots. At least one residence in the area was struck. The shots were still being fired when the officers arrived, and we believe the suspect fired at officers.”

Doll said early indications are that the suspect fired at officers from his own home.

Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll answers questions about an officer involved shooting on July 30, 2020 (Screenshot from APD Facebook)

Both the victim in the shooting and the suspect were taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, Doll said.

It remains unclear what prompted the man to start shooting.

“That’s definitely what we want to try to figure out as part of the investigation,” Doll said. “What was his motive? What were his objectives? Did he know somebody in the neighborhood that he had a problem with? Those are all great questions that we just don’t know yet, but we definitely are going to try to find out.”

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Casey here

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