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Crime & Courts

2 dead after SWAT standoff in South Anchorage

Officers assemble at the scene near Lore Road and Rancho Drive on Friday. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

Two people were found dead after a SWAT standoff in South Anchorage that lasted from Thursday night into Friday morning.

Anchorage police spokesman MJ Thim said that after the hours-long standoff a man and a woman were found dead with a gun nearby in a home on Rancho Drive on Friday morning.

Thim had no information on their identities or relationship Friday morning. He said the incident was being investigated as a homicide.

Police had been on the scene since 11 p.m. Thursday after getting reports of a suspicious man knocking on doors on Rancho Drive, Thim said. Police later learned that the man lived in the area after callers noticed the man returning to his home.

Soon after, police responded to a separate call from a relative asking for a welfare check for the man, Thim said. He said officers attempted to make contact with the man overnight but were unsuccessful.

At some point, police learned that the man was possibly inside the house with a woman, Thim said in an updated statement Friday.

In response, police obtained a search warrant for the home and tried to enter through one of its doors around 5 a.m. Inside, they spotted a man with a gun and backed off. Thim did not have information about whether the man threatened the officers or himself with the gun.

Shortly after, SWAT was deployed to the scene, Thim said. Officers began evacuating people from nearby residences; that's when reports were received of shots fired from inside the home, he said.

Thim said police fired no shots during the standoff.

A section of Lore Road was closed Friday as officers staged near the home. A robot with a camera was deployed to the outside of the home, Thim said, and gas was later deployed as a "last resort" to try to urge the man out of the home. At one point, officers could be heard on a loudspeaker asking the man to exit.

Thim said that after all attempts to contact the man failed, police went inside, where they found the two dead people.

Anchorage police prepare to deploy a gas canister during a standoff near Lore Road and Rancho Drive on Friday. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

Kami Clark stood on the corner just down the street from the house she had purchased a year and a half ago. Clark and her husband and two daughters were asked to evacuate their house at 4:30 a.m. after hours of police presence in the neighborhood.

Clark lives next door to the house that police were focused on Friday. She said the man who lived there, a renter, had just moved in in the spring. She said they didn't interact much but there had been "no problems" since his arrival.

Clark said the neighborhood, several blocks from Lake Otis Parkway, is generally quiet. Most people on the street own homes, she said.

This was the second SWAT standoff in Anchorage in less than 24 hours. Another standoff, which ended peacefully with an arrest, shut down a large section of Lake Otis Parkway for several hours Thursday.

Alaska Dispatch News reporter Jerzy Shedlock contributed to this report.

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