Police raise reward to $25,000 in shooting of policeman

Drive-by attack on APD patrolman "a crime that cannot be tolerated."

January 20, 2010 

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter of Anchorage police officer Jason Allen has been raised to $25,000, and detectives say they have obtained several videos taken that night.

Meanwhile, the head of the Anchorage police union, Sgt. Derek Hsieh, visited the injured officer at the hospital on Wednesday and said Allen may be permanently disabled by the attack.

The 47-year-old patrolman was shot five times as he sat in his patrol car filling out paperwork on a Fairview street early on the morning of Jan. 9.

Police are putting a lot of manpower into the investigation because it seems it was a brazen, unprovoked murder attempt on a uniformed officer.

"It's a crime that cannot be tolerated," said the head of the investigation, Lt. Dave Koch. "It's a crime that has got to be solved."

He called it an "open attack on the system."

The car involved in the shooting had at least two people in it, Koch said. It has been described as a dark-colored sedan.

"Certainly those people are talking about what occurred," he said. "Some of them may or may not have been willing participants."

Tips have been coming in but police hope the additional reward money -- up from an initial $10,000 -- may help break the case.

It might also be what a scared informant thinks he would need, Koch said. "That's enough to leave the state."

The $25,000 is one of the largest rewards, if not the largest, ever offered in Anchorage.

Police would reveal little information about the specifics of their investigation, but they said they have several videos taken that night that they are analyzing and that they have interviewed at least two people who saw part of the attack.

Allen had responded to a family dispute and was finishing paperwork from that when he was shot. Police say they don't believe the shooting had anything to do with that call.

As part of their investigation, police are looking at Allen's previous arrests and activities in Fairview as well as the records of other patrol officers in the neighborhood.

Hsieh said the reward was raised from $10,000 because of hundreds of contributions from residents, community organizations and businesses.

Donations are also being taken in a separate fund for Allen and his family.

Allen has undergone four surgeries and is expected to have at least one more, Hsieh said.

Allen told Hsieh on Wednesday that he wants to come back to the Anchorage Police Department when he is recovered.

Police say other Anchorage or Alaska officers who have been shot in the line of duty were hurt in cases where the suspect was trying to flee or there was a commission of a crime. They believe this was different. "The sole purpose was to kill a police officer," Hsieh said.

The public can contribute to the Jason Allen Reward Fund or the Jason Allen Family Support Fund at any Key Bank branch, Hsieh said. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 786-8860.

Find Megan Holland online at adn.com/contact/mholland or call 257-4343.

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