Anchorage police have arrested a woman accused of shooting another woman to death and severely wounding a man Friday afternoon during a Mountain View street fight.
Police said in a weekend statement that Juliana Khatthamane, 31, is charged with first-degree and second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Leimarliana Popoalli, as well as one count of first-degree assault.
According to a charging document against Khatthamane, police responded to reports of gunfire at the intersection of Schodde Street and Tarwater Drive at about 3:45 p.m. Friday. Popoalli and an unnamed male victim were taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where Popoalli died soon afterward. The man underwent surgery Friday, say the charges, written by an Anchorage police officer.
Police found nine shell casings at the scene, according to the charging document, as well as a silver handgun in Khatthamane’s car which was impounded as evidence.
Witnesses told police the two women had been fighting in the street. At one point, they said, Popoalli was on top of Khatthamane punching her and pulling her hair. When the two separated, Popoalli kicked Khatthamane in the head as she sat on the ground.
Police said a video recorded by one witness showed the women fighting and the kick, with both women’s children present. Soon afterward, the woman and the male victim are seen moving toward Khatthamane, then suddenly stopping, said the charging document.
That’s when police said Khatthamane opened fire, with the man falling to the ground as she advanced on them.
“Juliana fired the gun a total of five times, and when she fired the last four shots, it was in a downward direction as (the victims) both were lying on the ground,” police said in the charges.
According to the charges, Khatthamane told investigators that Popoalli had been harassing her for reporting Popoalli to police during previous incidents. She then said Popoalli had challenged her to a fight.
“Juliana admitted to shooting the first set of shots at (the man) and said he was encouraging them to continue fighting when she shot him,” the charges say. “Juliana said she fired the second set of shots at (Popoalli).”
Khatthamane was in custody Monday afternoon at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. She made her initial appearance in court over the weekend.