Update 7:20 a.m. Tuesday: Anchorage police say the stolen truck fired upon by its owner Monday in a Value Village parking lot has been found, with no word on the location or condition of its occupants.
The 1999 GMC pickup was found Monday night near East 20th Avenue and Sunrise Drive, according to a brief police statement early Tuesday.
"The vehicle was not occupied and appeared to have been abandoned," police wrote. "Police are still working to identify who the occupants of the stolen vehicle were and whether or not they were injured in the shooting."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts or status of the people who were in the truck at the time of the shooting near Boniface Parkway and East Northern Lights Boulevard, first reported at about 1 p.m. Monday, should call police at 907-786-8900.
Anchorage police say a woman spotted two people inside a pickup stolen from her house last week and opened fire in a thrift store parking lot Monday afternoon as the truck moved toward her.
The truck sped off and now police are asking the public for help finding it. Just look for the truck with the bullet hole in the windshield.
Jennifer Castro, police spokeswoman, said that several people called 911 around 1 p.m. Monday to report the shooting in the parking lot of Value Village near the intersection of Boniface Parkway and East Northern Lights Boulevard. The thrift store is located in an East Anchorage strip mall near a pizza shop, bank and grocery store.
Castro said that as the woman approached the 1999 GMC Sierra truck in the parking lot, the truck began moving toward her. The woman had a handgun and fired two bullets at the truck, one hitting the windshield, the other shattering the driver's window, according to police. A man was driving the truck and a woman was in the passenger seat, Castro said.
"It was all pretty fast and it's unknown whether the driver or the passenger were struck," she said.
Castro said the woman who fired the gun was hit by the truck. Medics reported that she had no major injuries. The woman remained in the area to speak with police. Witnesses also told police their stories, Castro said.
Castro said the truck was reported stolen Friday from the woman's home near Elmore Road and East 80th Avenue. The woman said a surveillance camera captured the theft and she told police the occupants of the truck looked like the thieves, Castro said.
Police described the driver of the truck Monday as a skinny Native man in his late 20s with a thin mustache and short black hair. The woman was said to be older.
The truck was a maroon, four-door GMC Sierra with the license plate "DVT426," according to police. It has the name "Robyn" painted on the driver's door with faded gold graphic strips. The driver's side window was gone and the windshield had a bullet hole.
Castro said that as of Monday afternoon, the woman who shot at the truck had not been charged and police had more evidence to collect. Police have not identified the woman.
"There's kind of a lot of unknowns in this to determine whether her use of force was justified or not," Castro said.
Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion said that each case has specific facts and circumstances to weigh when determining charges, and state law has many variables when it comes to deadly force.
Generally, he said, state law says people in public are not justified using deadly force in self-defense unless they reasonably believe it necessary to defend themselves or someone else against specific crimes including death, sexual assault and robbery. Another section of state law, Castro said, says people may use deadly force to stop what they reasonably believe to be vehicle theft. (The law says a person cannot lawfully use deadly force if the vehicle's occupant is a household member.)
Campion said Monday that shooting at a moving vehicle is "a very dangerous endeavor."
"If you're shooting a firearm at a moving vehicle, inherently there are people behind the vehicle that you can't perceive," he said. "It's a very dangerous thing to do."
Police have asked anyone with information on the stolen truck to call them at 907-786-8900 and press "0" to speak with dispatch.