Anchorage woman who died during SWAT team standoff had pointed a rifle at her neighbor, police say

Anchorage Police Chief-designee Bianca Cross speaks at a press conference on June 24, 2024. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage police say a woman had pointed a rifle at her neighbor and his son hours before she died during a police standoff near Muldoon last Wednesday night. 

Police said Monday that it’s still unclear how the woman, 58-year-old Lisa Fordyce-Blair, died. But they released some additional information during an afternoon news conference and in a criminal complaint filed in the case.

According to the complaint, Fordyce-Blair went inside her home Wednesday after her neighbor called the police and was “refusing to come out of the residence.” Officials say nobody was harmed during the interaction between Fordyce-Blair and her neighbor. Police obtained a warrant to arrest her for third-degree assault. 

After two hours, police said, a SWAT team was called in to assist. Fordyce-Blair did not respond to phone calls or requests for her to comply with officers made over a PA system, Anchorage Police Chief-designee Bianca Cross said during a news conference Monday. 

“During this time officers could hear her firing shots from inside the home,” Cross said. “Ultimately, an officer discharged his weapon. During the subsequent search of the residence the female was found deceased.”

Cross said the autopsy on Fordyce-Blair was conducted Monday morning, and police officials will release her cause of death after the medical examiner finishes their evaluation. Cross said the shooting is still under investigation and could not say whether Fordyce-Blair fired more shots after the SWAT team member fired at the home. 

The SWAT team members were not wearing body cameras, Cross said. Though most officers have been equipped with body cameras since the department finalized its policy last year, Cross said the cameras purchased by the department were not designed to fit on a full set of SWAT gear. 

“Therefore the SWAT officers did not have cameras on their bodies during last Wednesday’s incident,” Cross said. “The department has been researching body worn cameras designed to work with SWAT gear and we are still in the process of determining what cameras would work best.”

Cross said it’s possible that a police vehicle’s dash camera may have footage of the shooting, but she said she has not reviewed any of that footage. 

Anchorage police have categorized the Wednesday incident as an “officer-involved shooting” — the fourth in the city in less than two months.

Anchorage police shot 34-year-old Kristopher Handy on May 13 after responding to a domestic disturbance. Police say Handy pointed a long gun at officers prior to being shot, though security footage from one of Handy’s neighbors has called that narrative into question. This was the first time police shot someone while wearing body cameras, sparking demands from the family for the release of the footage.

On June 1, Anchorage police shot and wounded 22-year-old Kaleb Bourdukofsky after Bourdukofsky allegedly shot and killed 25-year-old Diego Joy near a downtown bar. Bourdukofsky is charged with murder in Joy’s death. 

Two days later, Anchorage police shot and killed 21-year-old Tyler May near an Anchorage senior center after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers who were responding to a shots fired call. 

a portrait of a man outside

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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