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Crime & Courts

Man, juvenile charged in shooting of woman in East Anchorage

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: February 11
  • Published February 11

Christopher Wayne Espiritu-Simpson, 19, at Anchorage Correctional Complex on Sunday, where he was arraigned on charges related to the shooting death of Juanita Lolesio, 19, on December 30, 2017. (Julia O’Malley / ADN)

A 19-year-old has been arrested in a December shooting that resulted in the death of a woman in East Anchorage, according to Anchorage police.

Police said Christopher Espiritu-Simpson was taken into custody Saturday at a residence in the 900 block of East 20th Avenue as officers served a search warrant. A juvenile who was not named was also taken into custody and is facing charges in the case, police said.

Espiritu-Simpson faces charges of second-degree murder and misconduct involving a weapon in the death of Juanita Lolesio, 19, in an early-morning incident on Dec. 30  in the Muldoon neighborhood.

The men appear to have been motivated by revenge over a romantic entanglement or "love triangle," said MJ Thim, spokesman for Anchorage police.

"One guy felt that there were inappropriate relations between a female and another guy," he said. "They felt that the best way to deal with this was to shoot people, to target them."

In a statement Sunday, police said Espiritu-Simpson and the juvenile "fired multiple shots at a party bus dropping people off at an apartment complex in the area of Oklahoma Street and Boundary Avenue." Lolesio was shot in the upper body, police said. She died in January.

"The victim had nothing to do with it," Thim said. "She was just out with her friends.

Investigators had a difficult time because though there were many witnesses, people where not willing to talk to them, Thim said. The arrest was made with the help of shell-casing analysis. The shells left at the scene of the party-bus shooting matched those from an incident where shots were fired at a house on Stella Place in South Anchorage a few days earlier, Thim said.

"It would have been easier if we had people with information come forward," he said.

Espiritu-Simpson and the juvenile were taken into custody for questioning on Saturday during the raid and were eventually charged and taken to the Anchorage jail, police said.

Police ask anyone with information to call 907-786-8900 and press 0, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP.

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