Crime & Courts

In 3 days, 3 young men shot to death in Anchorage

In three days, three young men have died violent deaths in Anchorage.

On Sunday morning, Xeryus Tate was found dead in the street in East Anchorage. He was 17.

On Saturday morning, someone dropped Elijah Zeller, 18, off at a hospital, bleeding from a gunshot wound. He died hours later.

On Friday morning, police found Treyveonkindell Thompson, 21, shot dead in Muldoon. 

All three homicides involved young men killed by gunfire.  So far, that's all they appear to have in common, said Anchorage Police Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz in an interview Sunday.

"There's really no connection between these three homicides, other than they are basically young people spending time outside in the late night and early morning hours," Markiewicz said.

So far, no evidence has surfaced to suggest the killings were related to drugs or gangs either, Markiewicz said. Each one was "related to a particular incident," he said. 


"People may have had a conflict, and this conflict escalated and continued throughout days or weeks," he said. Conflicts that appear to have ultimately ended in violence.

No arrests have been made in any of the cases, said Markiewicz.

But detectives have been working around the clock, along with a crime-scene team and a search team, though Markiewicz wouldn't say Sunday who exactly they were searching for. On Sunday afternoon, detectives were interviewing witnesses to at least one of the killings.

"I believe these homicides will be solved and prosecuted," Markiewicz said.

Even before Thompson was killed Friday, the recent surge of fatal violence began when a 33-year-old Eva Edwardson was stabbed to death in what police called a domestic violence killing on Wednesday.

At the end of July 2015, the city had seen 19 homicides. The year ended with 26 homicides — the highest toll in decades.

So far in 2016, there here have been 22 homicides in the city, Markiewicz said.

All three of the men killed in shootings since Friday were young — two teenagers and one young man barely of legal drinking age.  They didn't know each other, Markiewicz said.

Treyveonkindell Thompson, who identified himself online as Treyveon,  was the oldest at 21. He had recently posted on his Facebook page asking for an "online prayer circle." His grandmother was among those who responded. 

The 17-year-old killed, Xeryous Tate, was also known as "Iggy." He had recently lived in Vancouver, Washington, according to his Facebook page.

Angelique Zeller was Elijah Zeller's twin sister.

The two were born in Anchorage but moved to Red Devil, a remote community about 160 miles northeast of Bethel, where they lived until middle school, she said Sunday.

Elijah Zeller had attended the Alaska Military Youth Academy, graduating this spring with plans for training in carpentry and welding and a career with a union. He was popular, handsome and a family person, his sister said.

Angelique Zeller said she had no idea what happened to her brother. She'd heard only that he'd been taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound and then died.

Zeller said she also knew Xeryous "Iggy" Tate through friends.

"He had the best laugh in the world," she said.

She'd last spoken to her brother the day before his death.


"He knew how much I loved him, and I knew how much he loved me" she said.

To lose her twin and her friend in the same weekend was unthinkable.

"I don't know what's going on in this city," she said.