Police fatally shot Eagle River man involved in domestic violence incident

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

An Eagle River man is dead after an hours-long standoff with police Thursday morning that ended when he left his home holding a shotgun and five officers fired at him, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

Police have not yet released the man’s name or the names of the five officers involved, who were put on administrative leave and will be identified 72 hours after the incident, per department policy.

In a press conference, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll told reporters that police responded to a call about 5:45 a.m. from someone in the home, and found three family members had made it out of the house. Doll said officers also found evidence that a domestic violence assault had occurred.

Doll said the officers tried to arrest the man, but he was drinking, armed, and refused to come out.

SWAT officers responded, Doll said, as well as a crisis negotiator, who spoke to the man for about two hours on the phone. The man continued drinking and made suicidal statements, including that he wanted police to shoot him, the police chief said.

Doll said the man disconnected from the call a little after 10 a.m., walked outside toward SWAT officers holding a shotgun, and that’s when the officers shot him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Doll said the state Office of Special Prosecutions would investigate whether the police shooting was lawful, and the police department would follow up with an internal investigation as to whether it followed department protocol.

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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.