Woman found dead in an Anchorage home after police standoff

a home
Anchorage police at an East 20th Avenue home on Thursday, June 20, 2024, a day after a standoff during which a woman died inside. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage police say a standoff with an armed woman at a Muldoon home Wednesday night ended with the woman dead, following shots fired by both her and an officer.

A police statement describing the encounter, on East 20th Avenue near Island Drive, didn’t say how the woman died. It said the incident is being investigated as “an officer-involved shooting.”

According to the statement, police were called to the home just after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday for a reported disturbance nearby involving a weapon. That incident reportedly involved the woman, who police said was armed with a long gun, and a resident of the neighborhood.

“The suspect’s actions put that resident in fear of immediate physical harm,” police said in the statement. “The suspect retreated into her home prior to police arrival; she was the only one inside.”

Responding patrol officers tried to get the woman to leave the house, but weren’t successful, police said.

Police then obtained a warrant to arrest the woman for third-degree assault. Police said the department’s SWAT team and negotiators responded to the home by 7:20 p.m. SWAT officers discharged gas, but the woman stayed inside.

“The suspect remained non-compliant and fired multiple shots inside the home,” police said. “Ultimately one SWAT officer discharged their weapon from outside.”

police vehicles
Several police vehicles, including the department’s Crime Scene Team RV, were at the home Thursday. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Officers searched the home and found the woman dead inside. Police were still notifying her family Thursday morning, and said her cause of death will be determined by the state medical examiner’s office.

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad declined to answer questions Thursday about the initial report of a disturbance or the standoff. She said the department will hold a news conference at a later date.

According to department policy, the officer who fired Wednesday will be named in three days and has been placed on four days of administrative leave. The incident is being investigated by the state Office of State Prosecutions for violations of state law, as well as the department’s Internal Affairs unit for violations of police policy.

Wednesday’s encounter follows three shootings of armed men by Anchorage police since mid-May, two of them fatal.

Anchorage Police Chief Designee Bianca Cross initially said the first of those men, Kristopher Handy, raised a gun at officers outside a Sand Lake apartment complex on May 13. But a neighbor’s surveillance video soon put that claim into question. Police have declined to release body camera footage of the shooting until investigations are complete.

Early on June 1, police say Kaleb Bourdukofsky, 22, shot and killed Diego Joy, 25, outside a downtown bar, also wounding another man. Police responding to the shooting shot and wounded Bourdukofsky, who faces murder charges in Joy’s death.

Tyler May, 21, was shot and killed by police outside the Anchorage Senior Activity Center in Fairview on June 3. Police say May pulled out a gun during an altercation with officers responding to reports of shots fired in the area.

a portrait of a man outside

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

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