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Eagle River man shot by officer had been reported firing at neighbors’ homes, Anchorage police say

Anchorage police respond to an officer-involved shooting on Steeple Drive in Eagle River on Thursday morning. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Update, 12 p.m. Sunday, Aug.2: Anchorage police identified the officer who fired his gun as Kevin Mitchell. He’s been with the department since 1993.

Original story:

An Eagle River man who reportedly shot into his residential neighborhood early Thursday, injuring a neighbor, was shot and wounded by a responding officer, Anchorage police said.

No officers were injured, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said Thursday.

Police identified the suspect at Todd Driskill, 57, in an alert Thursday night. The injured neighbor and Driskill were taken to a hospital, police said, and detectives questioned Driskill after the hospital released him.

Driskill was taken to jail and faces charges of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault and two counts of second-degree misconduct involving a weapon, according to police, and more charges may be filed.

Officer involved shooting update: Case #20-23596

Posted by Anchorage Police Department on Thursday, July 30, 2020

Several residents of the 11200 block of Steeple Drive, a steep mountainside road with widely spaced homes on large lots, called 911 around 6:20 a.m. to report a man shooting at homes with a semi-automatic rifle, Doll said. At least one of the homes was struck and one resident was injured.

It was not immediately clear if the suspect was targeting the homes or knew the neighbors. Doll said investigators did not believe the shooting was related to domestic violence.

“So far we don’t think there was a connection between them and the suspect, but that’s obviously something we’ll be looking into as part of the investigation,” Doll said.

It also was not immediately clear how many homes the suspect may have fired at before returning to his own residence, where police encountered him, Doll said.

“The first officers that arrived formed a team and then immediately moved to confront the suspect, who was continuing to fire shots,” Doll said. “As they approached the suspect’s residence, the suspect fired more shots, one officer returned fire and the suspect was injured.”

The officers rendered medical aid until the Anchorage Fire Department arrived to bring the man to the hospital, police said.

Officers immediately checked other homes in the area to see if there were any other injuries, but Doll said police have not identified other victims.

The responding officers included a mix of on- and off-duty officers, Doll said. The incident took place when many officers were heading to the station in their take-home vehicles to begin their shift. Cars and police cruisers lined the side of the otherwise empty roadway Thursday morning.

Anchorage police respond to an officer-involved shooting on Steeple Drive in Eagle River on Thursday morning. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

“This is the kind of incident that officers will respond to almost reflexively, so it’s not surprising that when they hear an incident like this being dispatched over the radio, everybody that’s available will try to go to it.”

Police are unsure what motivated the shooting. Doll said the investigation is ongoing. The injured neighbor is expected to survive, police said.

The name of the officer who fired at the suspect will be released within 72 hours of the shooting, per department policy. The officer will be placed on four days of paid administrative leave. The state’s Office of Special Prosecutions will determine if the officer’s use of force was justified.

It was the fourth officer-involved shooting of 2020 in Anchorage. In January, Dustin Folse was injured after police said he aimed a crossbow at officers. An officer fired at Logan Parrigan, but didn’t hit him, outside the Northway Mall in February. Officers fatally shot 16-year-old Daelyn Polu after police said he fired at officers during a traffic stop in February.

Anchorage police respond to an officer-involved shooting on Steeple Drive in Eagle River on Thursday morning. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

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