A tragic series of events on the morning of Sunday Oct. 28 outside Platinum Jaxx resulted in the loss of an innocent and good man, my friend Said Beshirov. There has been a lot of speculation about what happened by people who were not there based on nothing but assumptions. What matters is that a good man was taken from us for doing for nothing more than trying to defend a woman who was being assaulted, something any decent man should do. What I cannot stop thinking about is what kind of animal would execute someone in the street in front of a crowd of people.
Said did not drink alcohol and was not the kind of person to look for trouble. He was the kind of person who would help his friends when they needed it. After he intervened to help the woman who was assaulted, he saw that his friends were involved in a fight. He only interfered to try and help his friends and he paid for that with his life.
I was walking out of the club with a friend and heard two shots. I assumed it just was some idiot firing shots in the air to scare people. I ran back to get my other friend and saw a crowd of people surrounding a body, I sensed right away it was someone I knew because of the reaction of my friends. When I saw it was Said I could not believe it. I had a friend put pressure on where I thought the wound was and I began performing chest compressions but there was just too much blood.
There used to be a time when men would fight and when it was over it was done. Now we have to worry about cowards who think they are tough because they carry around a gun. I can only hope he did not have the gun in the club but it seems clear to me that he did.
I met Said when he moved to Alaska and I liked him from the beginning. He was very easy going and quite the unique character. The Russian community in Anchorage is very tight knit and they stick together. I can't think of anyone Said did not get along with, everyone liked him. He was the kind of person who could get along with anyone and make them laugh. I think having the friends he did made it a lot easier for him to make the cultural transition.
When he moved here he did not speak English, and I remember how he used to always try really hard to speak with me in English, we used to always laugh about it. One day when I asked him to teach me to box he did not hesitate to say yes. We used to meet at the gym to practice, he was quite an amazing athlete. I could never seem to land a punch even though he would always tell me to keep trying, he was quick. He also liked to play soccer with our group at the Park Strip and Dome.
I still cannot believe he is gone, and I keep wondering why someone would do such a horrible thing, pulling out the gun would have been enough, why did he have to kill my friend? This senseless violence needs to stop. This is not the first time the Russian community has had to deal with this kind of violence.
Said's and my friend, Slava Teodorovich, who was also there that night, was shot in 2009 in his vehicle after a traffic incident by a 19-year-old with a stolen car and gun. He spent over a month in the hospital and nearly died; he is lucky to be alive today. The man who nearly killed him was only sentenced to ten years with three suspended.
Slava and I went straight to the hospital with two of our friends holding on to the chance Said was alive. I cannot even imagine what Slava was going through having to relive all of that. No one would tell us if Said was alive or dead. After Slava dropped me off, he picked up Said's wife to tell her what had happened. They returned to the hospital where they were informed that Said was dead.
When the animal who killed Said is caught, I implore the police and prosecutors to make an example out of the coward -- no deals, no plea bargains, only the harshest penalty possible. Said's parents, family, wife, and friends deserve that. A lot of lives have been changed by this execution-style murder. Nothing we can do can totally eliminate these kinds of senseless acts but we must ensure those responsible pay. Said was a victim, a good man, a brave man who should be remembered as such. He was willing to stand up for the right thing, now we all need to stand up for him.
No arrests have been made and the police are still seeking information. They are still looking for the driver and any passengers in the white 2002-2005 Jeep Cherokee that was seen driving away. They are also looking for two men dressed as Marvel Comics characters, one in an Iron Man costume and the other as the Incredible Hulk. If you have any information or witnessed the shooting, please contact APD at 786-8900.
Jeff Landfield moved to Alaska in 2004. He graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009 with a BA in history. He speaks Russian and is close with many in the Russian community who have been affected by this tragedy.
By JEFF LANDFIELD