A least four football players produced guns and started shooting at Anchorage Football Stadium two weeks ago, generating a flurry of wild gunfire that ended with another player critically wounded, according to documents filed in court by prosecutors.
The documents, which were filed accompanying the arrests of three players on attempted murder charges on Friday and Saturday, provide new details of the shooting spree July 9 at Anchorage's most popular sports complex that sent football players, baseball players and spectators fleeing for cover.
A fourth football player, who told investigators he fired back at the first shooters in an effort to protect other players, was not charged.
A statement included in the documents and signed by an Anchorage police investigator notes that interviews with witnesses show the guns came out of gym bags brought to the football game and kept on the sidelines or, in one case, came from under the shirt of one of the players. Though the statement does not say directly that the player was playing the game armed, it says that after an altercation with another player, he walked to the sidelines "lifted up his shirt and pulled out a hand gun." While yelling at other players, he fired his initial shot into the air, according to the documents.
Three men have been jailed in the incident, all of them charged with attempted murder and assault. Norman Kaikaina Fagafaga, 21, Kalani Lemauga Maalona, 20, and Clayton Victor Paogofie Nai, 17, made initial court appearances over the weekend. Bond on each has been set at $250,000.
Nai, a juvenile, will be tried as an adult, police said. He appeared before a magistrate in a private court appearance at the Anchorage jail Sunday. When police escorted him, handcuffed and shackled, through the waiting room into the courtroom, he ducked quickly to the side and kissed his mother, who then stepped aside and wiped away tears.
Fagafaga appeared in court for the first time Saturday and Maalona on Sunday. During Maalona's appearance, a standing-room-only group of men, women and children packed the small courtroom at the jail.
Police arrested Fagafaga on Friday evening. Maalona turned himself in Saturday afternoon, and Nai turned himself in late Saturday night.
According to the court documents, Daniel Leituala, 21, who was shot in the face during the football field melee, remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition. He still faces serious medical dangers.
Witnesses quoted in the documents told investigators that Leituala, who apparently knew the three people arrested, showed up at the field with two friends. They walked by the three suspects, and greeted one another. The three who would later be arrested were sitting in a purple Chevrolet Tahoe and black Ford Expedition at the time.
Leituala and his friends joined one team of a football game; the three suspects joined the other.
At some point during the game, according to the documents, rough play angered some of the players. Fagafaga grabbed an opposing player in a bear hug and lifted him off the ground, the documents say, while Nai tried unsuccessfully to pick a fight with another player.
Fagafaga, Maalona and Nai walked to the sideline, where Maalona lifted up his shirt and pulled out a hand gun, "yelled taunts" at the players and fired a round in the air, according to documents.
Witnesses told investigators that Nai and Faga-faga dug handguns out of their gear bags and all three opened fire at people on the field, according to the documents.
Leituala was hit with one round below the left eye. The documents do not indicate who police believe fired that shot.
As bullets whizzed past people's heads, players took cover, fled on foot and climbed fences to escape. Calls flooded 911.
Another player on the field, who later told investigators he was trying to protect the other football players, pulled a handgun from his own gym bag and started shooting back at the gunmen, the court documents say.
Police said their investigation of the scene turned up 53 bullet casings, a mixture of .380, 9 mm and .45-caliber. The casings were strewn from the sideline of the football field to the parking lot.
Another witness, who police interviewed later, said a regular core group of 20 to 25 football players gathers for the football games, and the three men charged with attempted murder are not among them.
Daily News reporter Anne Aurand can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4591.