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Crime & Courts

24-year-old man fatally shot with gun he brought to gathering, Anchorage police say

UPDATE 9 a.m. Wednesday:

Anchorage police on Wednesday morning identified the shooting victim as Omar Mandour, 24.

Original story:

A 26-year-old woman was arrested early Tuesday morning after a fatal shooting in Anchorage but by afternoon prosecutors declined to file charges and let her go.

The shooting of an as-yet unidentified man took place in an apartment in the Fairview neighborhood with a half-dozen people inside, most of them juveniles, police say. Some in the group were drinking and smoking marijuana as they passed around the victim’s gun.

Marilyn Tilo-Maiava, a 26-year-old Anchorage woman, originally faced charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, according to an Anchorage Police Department update Tuesday morning. She was described as firing the fatal shot while she played with the weapon.

But Tilo-Maiava was ordered released from custody during an arraignment hearing Tuesday afternoon, according to Anchorage District Attorney John Novak. She was expected to be out of jail by day’s end.

Novak said he decided not to file charges after consulting with police.

“We’ve made the determination that filing charges today is not appropriate," he said Tuesday afternoon.

The determination was made “based on evidence that we’re aware of,” he said. “What’s going to happen in the future is another matter.”

An assistant district attorney was called to the shooting scene overnight, Novak said. He also worked directly with police as he made his decision.

APD spokesman MJ Thim said despite the DA’s decision, police are still holding Tilo-Maiava accountable for the death.

“As far as we’re concerned, she is the suspect,” Thim said Tuesday afternoon.

The man’s death was initially reported to 911 dispatchers as a suicide in the 1200 block of LaTouche Street around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said. Patrol officers found a man inside an apartment shot in the upper body. He was transported to a hospital and died. The man is not being identified pending next-of-kin notification.

Police say they learned during preliminary investigation that the victim pulled out a handgun he’d brought to the apartment. The group started passing the gun around.

“You have a group of adults, children were in the room as well, that were under the influence of alcohol and drugs and they’re playing with a gun,” Thim said. “It gets into the possession of the suspect. A shot is fired as she has possession of the gun and kills someone.”

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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