A man was shot and killed by Anchorage police Wednesday night after he pointed a gun at officers in a grocery store parking lot in East Anchorage, according to the Anchorage Police Department.
Police initially believed the man, Thomas Barclay, shot at least two rounds at officers, the police department said in a statement Thursday. That has not yet been confirmed by crime scene investigators, police said.
Police Chief Justin Doll said at a news conference Thursday that officers with the department's Investigative Support Unit had been searching for Barclay for about a week before they found him around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday in the Fred Meyer parking lot on Muldoon Road.
Officers intended to arrest Barclay, according to police. He was wanted on warrants for charges including felony assault, misconduct involving a weapon and driving with a revoked license, police said.
When police found Barclay, he was in his car with his "significant other," Doll said. The woman got out of the car and was not injured. Police later took her in for questioning, Doll said. She had not been charged by Thursday afternoon.
After she left the car, Barclay attempted to drive away, according to police.
"Barclay attempted to elude officers, but they were able to pin his vehicle in on all four sides," Doll said. "Barclay was attempting to break free from the pin by maneuvering his vehicle back and forth."
Doll said officers fired a "less-lethal" round into the back window of Barclay's vehicle. Officers do that, Doll said, so they can better speak with the person inside of the vehicle and so they can fire in pepper spray if the person continues to resist. Doll said it also gives the person "a safe exit path from the vehicle should he choose to give up."
After the car window shattered, Barclay pointed a handgun at officers, Doll said. Three police officers fired their guns at Barclay. Barclay was pronounced dead in the parking lot. The officers were not injured, Doll said.
Doll said he could not say Thursday how many times Barclay was shot or where the bullets entered his body.
"We're not done processing all the evidence from the crime scene yet," he said.
The three officers involved in the shooting were placed on a mandatory administrative leave, Doll said. Their names will be released in 72 hours, per department policy.
Police said the investigation has been given to the state Office of Special Prosecutions to determine if the use of force was justified under state law.
This was the third time this year that Anchorage officers fired their guns at a person during a police response, and the first that resulted in a death.