Anchorage Walmart shooting was murder-suicide, police say

a window that says Anchorage Police Department Anchorage Alaska
A window at the Anchorage Police Department’s Downtown headquarters (Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage police say a Sunday shooting that left two people dead and led officers to evacuate a Walmart store at a busy mall was a murder-suicide.

Another fatal shooting in Mountain View earlier that day remains under investigation.

Police said in a Tuesday update on the Walmart shooting near the Dimond Center mall that 29-year-old Saina Fa’atoafe fatally shot a woman in the parking lot outside the store shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday, then took his own life.

Police declined to identify the woman due to domestic violence being a factor, and police spokeswoman Renee Oistad declined to discuss further details on the case Tuesday morning.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday that Walmart officials said the woman was an employee, who was on a break when she was killed. The company was providing bereavement counseling to employees in the wake of the shooting.

Anchorage police are also investigating the death of 33-year-old Matagiofa J. Sione, who was fatally shot early Sunday near North Bragaw Street and Thompson Avenue. Sione was identified in a Tuesday update on the shooting.

“This is an on-going investigation; police believe they have contacted everyone involved,” police said. “No charges have been filed.”

Oistad refused to answer detailed questions about Sione’s shooting Tuesday, but said domestic violence was not a factor.

The Walmart shooting occurred less than a day before a second domestic-violence murder-suicide in Wasilla, in which Alaska State Troopers say a 45-year-old man shot and killed his 31-year-old girlfriend and her 7-year-old son Monday before killing himself.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are looking for resources, you can call AWAIC’s 24-hour support line at (907) 272-0100.

A full list of Alaska shelters and victim’s services providers can be found here.

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

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