Police looking for suspect in West Anchorage shooting

Casey Grove
Erik Hill

Anchorage police are looking for a suspect who shot a man several times, severely wounding him Tuesday inside an apartment off West International Airport Road.

Police officers swarmed an apartment building in the 2800 block of West International Airport Road after a 911 call reporting the shooting just after 5 p.m., a police spokeswoman said. The shooter apparently escaped in a vehicle before police arrived, police Sgt. Michael Kerle said at the scene. Kerle declined to give a description of the vehicle.

Officers found the bleeding and badly injured man inside a basement-floor apartment, which was full of bear deterrent spray. Some of the officers later donned gas masks in order to investigate further, Kerle said.

"We're still in the early stages of the investigation, and we're not sure how the bear mace was used or if it was used before or after the shooting," Kerle said.

There were others inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but Kerle said he did not know how many occupied the unit. Only the one man was injured in the shooting, Kerle said. Police took several people to a police station for questioning, he said.

Medics rushed the victim, whom Kerle did not name, to a hospital with "serious, possibly life-threatening injuries," the sergeant said. Officers learned the name of the suspected shooter through interviews with witnesses, but they are not releasing the name or a description to the public, Kerle said.

"We have a possible lead on the suspect, and we're doing everything we can to find him," Kerle said about 6 p.m. "We'll be busy looking for him later tonight. I don't think the general public (needs) to worry. This is people who knew each other, so it wasn't just a random act."