Crime & Courts

Suspect in shooting outside Anchorage school claims self-defense

The suspect in a shooting outside of an Anchorage elementary school claimed that he acted in self-defense when he shot another man in the neck on Wednesday, charging documents say.

Laquinton Tyrone Dashawn Robbins, 26, charged with first-degree assault and fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon, had his first court appearance on Thursday.

The shooting took place roughly 30 minutes after school began at Denali Montessori, a public school in downtown Anchorage near East Ninth Avenue and Cordova Street. The school went into lockdown, with parents learning of the shooting through cellphone alerts or text messages from their children.

Police were notified of the shooting around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Officers arrived minutes later, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said.

Charging documents say the victim was found in the vestibule of the school entrance with gunshot wounds to his neck and blood on his clothes. Officers put pressure on the wounds, and Robbins was taken into custody.

Robbins was caught quickly, police said. Police spokesman MJ Thim said Robbins had "no place to run" after officers flooded the area.

Robbins told police that the victim was the father of Robbins' girlfriend's children. The victim had shown up at the school Wednesday morning as Robbins was dropping off his girlfriend's daughter, court documents say.

Robbins told police that as he walked to the school entrance, the victim tried to grab the girl's hand. Robbins picked up the girl and started carrying her toward the school, he said, and then the victim hit Robbins in the head. Robbins told police he ignored the blow and signed the girl in at school.

Robbins told police that he walked back to the car, followed by the victim. He said the victim got into the car and they "began tussling," court documents say. Robbins told police the victim grabbed at Robbins' backpack, at which point Robbins grabbed it back, pulled out a gun, and shot the victim in self-defense.

Surveillance video showed Robbins and the victim standing outside Robbins' car, with the victim "standing back away from Robbins," and Robbins extending his arm out toward the victim, court documents say.

When shown the video, Robbins changed his statement to say that when the two men got out of the car, the victim was threatening to kill him, court documents say. Robbins told police he didn't know what the victim would do next because he had been antagonizing him.

A witness told police that he saw two men in a car together, and that the shooter had punched the victim several times. Then, the victim got out of the car and started walking away when the shooter got out of the car and pulled a gun from his backpack.

The witness told police that the victim was about an arm's length away from the shooter when he was shot in the neck. The victim didn't have any weapons, had his hands by his side, and wasn't acting aggressively, the witness told police.

Both the witness and the victim tried to get into the school, but the doors were locked, court documents say.

Anchorage District Court Judge Jo-Ann Chung told Robbins that the allegations "are quite serious," and she ordered him held on $10,000 cash performance bond. He was ordered not to contact to either the victim or his girlfriend's daughter, and would be on house arrest should he post bail.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.