Crime & Courts

Man charged in shooting death of Tiwan Johnson

A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on a warrant stemming from a shooting death in front of an East Anchorage liquor store early Tuesday, officials said.

Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion confirmed that Christopher Birotte faces second-degree charges of murder and assault.

Birotte turned himself in Friday; he showed up at the Anchorage Police Department with a lawyer, police Lt. John McKinnon said.

The charges relate to the Muldoon shooting that killed 19-year-old Tiwan Marquis Johnson Jr. at 1:10 a.m. Tuesday outside of a Brown Jug. McKinnon said Johnson was shot in the head during the incident.

The other unnamed man injured in the shooting was struck in the shoulder, McKinnon said.

Detectives released few details in the days following Johnson's death. His aunt said the teenager moved to Alaska about three years ago with family to make a new life for himself; he stayed away from guns and "wasn't raised to be a thug," she said.

['He wasn't raised to be a thug,' says aunt of Muldoon shooting victim]


This is some of the information included in the arrest warrant, according to McKinnon:

There was a fight near the scene of the shooting, and a struggle ensued over a backpack believed to have had marijuana inside, the warrant says. Someone produced a handgun and shots were fired. Johnson was struck in the head, according to the warrant.

Birotte did not make a statement at the police department, McKinnon said. He handed over a handgun but made no admissions about using the gun or his involvement in the shooting.

An Anchorage Correctional Complex employee said Birotte was jailed there, and he has an initial court appearance set for Saturday.

Jerzy Shedlock

Jerzy Shedlock is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2017.