Anchorage police arrest man who they say shot at cars on the Glenn Highway

an anchorage police car is parked in a parking lot
An Anchorage police patrol vehicle. (Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage police have arrested a 37-year-old man who they say was firing a gun Tuesday evening at cars driving along the Glenn Highway in Northeast Anchorage.

At least one person was injured.

Franklin Dias Jr. faces numerous charges including attempted murder of a police officer, assault, reckless endangerment and weapons misconduct.

A court document detailing the charges against Dias describes a flurry of 911 callers reporting the shooting shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The callers said a man was walking along the bike trail near the Glenn and Boniface Parkway overpass and firing his gun into traffic.

One caller who was also walking the trail told police she watched the man shoot toward the Boniface exit sign, shoot toward the outbound Glenn bridge, shoot across the street and then shoot in her direction, according to the charges.

A responding police officer said he watched the man pull a pistol out of his waistband and take aim at the police car, the charges say. The officer said he tried to take cover and “heard a ‘pop’ followed by a ‘ting’ and then another ‘pop,’” according to the charges. He was not injured, police said.

But at least one passenger driving in a car along the highway was hit, the bullet lodged in his neck, the charges say. He was taken to the hospital.

The passenger of another car on the highway Tuesday evening said she saw the man shoot his gun about seven times, according to the charges. She said if the driver she was with had not slowed down, the bullets would have hit their car.

More officers responded Tuesday evening and found Dias and a woman, 20-year-old Evamarie Booth, running on the bike trail, according to police.

“Initially the male and female did not respond to commands, but then they became compliant when they saw how many officers had arrived on scene,” police said in a statement.

Police said just before Dias was taken into custody officers saw him throw a handgun over a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson fence. Officers later recovered the pistol, and say they also found a large knife in the area.

Both Dias and Booth were taken into custody for questioning. Booth was charged with resisting arrest, police said. 

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, according to police. According to the charging document, Dias told detectives he had not slept in a few days. Dias has previously been convicted of second-degree robbery and third-degree escape.

Dias was in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Complex Wednesday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with charges filed.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cklint@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Chris here.

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