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Anchorage police seek suspects in Midtown shooting

Jerzy Shedlock

Anchorage police are investigating a shooting on Tuesday in a parking lot near 57th Avenue and Dowling Road, during which a man was shot in the leg. The shooting left holes in the walls and a garage door of at least one business in the area, and police were looking for four suspects in the incident.

Police responded to the shooting in a commercial area off the Old Seward Highway just after 11:30 a.m. They found a male victim outside a DeWalt power tool store. The man, shot in his foot according to witnesses, was transported to a local hospital.

The initial investigation shows that four males confronted the unidentified man in the store's parking lot. “A verbal altercation began, and one shot was fired,” said police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro in an email.

The man fled northbound to another parking lot and was followed by the other males. Additional shots were fired, then the four escaped in multiple vehicles, she said.

Precision Paint owner Allen Fargo was working on a trailer when he heard seven to 10 clacking noises. It sounded like employees of other businesses breaking up plywood to toss in the dumpster, Fargo said. There were enough noises to pique Fargo’s curiosity, however. He looked out the window of his bay door, but he didn’t see anything.

He returned to working on the trailer. Then, “I heard probably five to six more clacks,” he recalled. He again looked out the window and saw a man running diagonally across the parking lot. The slim man wore a black hoodie, Fargo said.

The auto shop owner was still unsure what had happened, he said, until a friend and a second business owner came to his shop and said there had been a shooting.

An on-scene officer said investigators found multiple shell casings at the scene.

Across the parking lot, Seth Hilligas of Chugach Sewer and Drain was standing inside one of the building's bays, a garage of sorts occupied by a truck and spare tires, when a bullet came through the wall no more than 10 feet from where he stood.

Sheetrock protruded from the wall near shelving on which new tires sat; a red circle surrounded the hole, left there by Anchorage police who investigated the scene for a little more than two hours, according to the on-scene officer.

The bullet apparently came through the wall, ricocheted off a window and came to rest in the bay’s concrete floor, Hilligas explained as he drew the bullet’s path with his index finger. Police later extracted the slug from the concrete.

After the bullet came to rest, Hilligas exited the bay and saw a man limping across the parking lot holding a handgun, he said. The limping man, who turned out to be the shooting victim, tried to enter the DeWalt store but couldn’t get in. He placed the handgun in the business's mailbox and rested against the building, according to Hilligas’ account.

Police arrived shortly after and provided medical attention to the victim. By the time Fargo stuck his head out of the door, the man was sitting against the building with a towel wrapped around his foot. He wasn’t wearing any shoes, Fargo said.

Police are still searching for the four men, and Castro said the investigation is ongoing.

Contact Jerzy Shedlock at jerzy(at)alaskadispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter @jerzyms