Anchorage police on Thursday tracked down and arrested a man wanted for shooting another man in connection with a drug deal in a West Anchorage apartment Tuesday.
Officers confronted the alleged shooter, Sabre Pearl, and his girlfriend outside a South Anchorage mobile home just after noon Thursday and took them into custody, a police spokeswoman said. Pearl, 23, is charged with assault and weapons misconduct for allegedly shooting Eric Hammon, 31, several times in the lower torso at an apartment off West International Airport Road, police said.
Hammon remained in critical condition Thursday.
According to police statements and a charging document filed against Pearl, this is how the shooting, and plans for a methamphetamine deal that preceded it, happened:
Examining a phone searched after the shooting, police learned that Pearl's girlfriend, Marissa Quimby-Hayes, sent a text message Sunday offering drugs to a woman named Shelley Phillips, who lives at the apartment in the 2800 block of International Airport Road. Phillips responded on Tuesday.
"I wanna play football this afternoon," Phillips wrote.
A detective wrote in the charges that "football" meant "eight ball" or "ball," terms for one-eighth of an ounce of drugs. The two women were discussing methamphetamine, the charges say.
"It's probably gonna be like 4:50," Quimby-Hayes wrote.
Phillips asked if that meant the drugs would be delivered at 4:50 p.m.
"Price. I was trying to be a sneaky snake like you," Quimby-Hayes wrote back.
Phillips told Quimby-Hayes she did not want Pearl to accompany her to Phillips' apartment. But Pearl came along anyway and got into an argument with Hammon, who was staying there with his girlfriend, Phillips told police. The fight got physical, and Pearl pulled out a handgun and shot Hammon four or five times in the lower torso while he lay facedown on the floor, according to the charges.
At some point in the altercation, someone discharged a can of pepper spray or bear-deterrent spray, police said. It's unclear if that happened before or after the shooting.
Pearl and Quimby-Hayes fled in a blue van. Someone inside the apartment called 911 about 5 p.m. Officers, some of whom wore gas masks, entered the apartment and found Hammon bleeding. Medics rushed him to a hospital.
Police publicly identified Pearl as the alleged shooter on Wednesday, announcing arrest warrants in the shooting and a separate theft and fraud case from December. According to charges in that case, Pearl tried to cash a stolen check for $10,000 at a bank Dec. 19. Because of the large amount, a bank teller called the account owner and learned the check had been stolen, the charges say. Pearl fled.
On Wednesday, after police released pictures of Pearl and Quimby-Hayes to local news outlets, tips from the public started flowing in, police spokeswoman Anita Shell said. Officers with the Anchorage police Special Assignments Unit learned that Pearl and Quimby-Hayes would be at a mobile home on Brandon Street, near the west end of Huffman Road.
"We got sightings all over, that they were hitchhiking or at a hotel," Shell said. "(Officers) followed up on all of them, but this one ended up panning out."
"They were staying there. I don't think it was their home," Shell said.
Pearl and Quimby-Hayes came out of the mobile home about 12:15 p.m. Thursday and got into a Ford Expedition SUV, police said. As they tried to pull out of the driveway, the officers blocked them. Both were taken into custody without a struggle and were being questioned Thursday afternoon.
According to the recent charges against Pearl, he has three drug-related convictions in the past three years, two of which are felonies.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE