Man shot by Anchorage police faces 19 charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder

An Anchorage Police Department vehicle at the intersection of Tudor Rd. and Lake Otis Parkway, near where an officer shot a suspect early Friday morning. Officials said the man’s injuries were not life-threatening. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

An Anchorage man shot by police last Friday now faces 19 charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder. 

Police identified the man Monday as 36-year-old Michael Valu, and identified the officer who shot him as Curtis Wockenfuss.

According to charging documents, Valu fired a gun at his wife while she was holding their child in the living room of a North Anchorage home Friday morning at around 4:48 a.m. Three other people were also in the room, the charging documents say, and the bullet went through a wall into another room where two more people were sleeping. No one was injured.

After trying to leave the home with his child, Valu left with a different child, according to the charges. Police said the child Valu took was elementary school-aged and was related to Valu, but didn’t specify how. 

Officers found Valu and the child roughly two hours later at a Midtown Anchorage intersection. Police say they ordered Valu to stop multiple times, before he aimed a handgun at officers. Officer Wockenfuss fired twice at Valu, striking him in his midsection, according to police. 

During the altercation, Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle said, Valu tried using the child as a human shield. Kerle said the child was unharmed. It’s unclear how long Valu held the child for.

Valu was taken to the hospital with what police described as non life-threatening injuries. He also faces 15 felony assault charges and a charge of misconduct involving a firearm. Valu was in custody Tuesday at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

Police say Wockenfuss has been placed on four days of administrative leave while the state Office of Special Prosecutions determines whether his use of force against Valu was justified. 

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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