Crime & Courts

Suspect accused of shooting Anchorage police officer during Friday standoff faces multiple attempted murder charges

standoff, police, shooting

The 28-year-old man accused of shooting an Anchorage police officer several times Friday morning fired a barrage of shots at officers after they rammed his barricaded door, charging documents say.

Dillon N. Spring faces five counts of attempted murder — one for each officer who entered his apartment — and multiple assault charges following a lengthy standoff near downtown Anchorage Friday. The officer Spring is accused of shooting has not yet been identified by police.

A neighbor was using a hammer early Friday morning when Spring forced himself into the apartment, took the tool from him and struck him with it, APD homicide unit Detective Jeffrey Elbic wrote in a criminal complaint. Police were dispatched there around 2:30 a.m.

Having received a search warrant, officers knocked on the door of Spring’s apartment, according to the complaint.

“Spring responded to initial officer attempts to contact him by cursing and stating something to the effect of: ‘Why don’t you come in and say hi?’ ” the complaint said.

More officers arrived as it became clear Spring was not coming out of the apartment, and after Spring didn’t respond to multiple announcements, the complaint said, officers used a battering ram to break down the apartment door at about 4:22 a.m.

Officers found that Spring had barricaded his door with furniture, so they took the door off the frame and started removing the barricade, the complaint said.

Five officers got ready to enter the apartment through the door, the complaint said, and one officer held a tactical shield. Three officers were behind the officer with the shield while a fourth was off to the side, moving furniture out of the way.

Spring began firing at the officers as soon as they tried to go into the apartment, Elbic wrote. Preliminary evidence indicates he fired more than 20 shots, according to the complaint.

The officer with the shield was shot multiple times in the lower body, the complaint said. Another officer returned fire into the apartment while all of the other officers retreated.

The officer who fired his weapon is Brandon Schafer, police said in a Facebook post Monday morning. Per APD’s practices, Schafer was placed on a four-day administrative leave and both the Office of Special Prosecutions and police internal affairs will review what happened, police said.

Fellow officers dragged the officer who was shot away from the apartment and down the stairs, the complaint said, and started emergency treatment, the complaint said. The officer was later taken to the hospital.

According to Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle, a citizen who was on a ridealong Friday helped render lifesaving aid to the officer.

Spring then refused to come out of the apartment, resulting in a standoff that stretched into the early afternoon. While Spring was barricaded in his apartment, officers saw him “handling an assault rifle,” the complaint said. Spring was eventually taken into custody at 1:22 p.m.

Spring exited the apartment, and according to the complaint he told officers he was “sorry” and did not make any additional statements.

Phillip Elrod, whose father owns the building, said Spring “as been increasingly short tempered with other tenants in the building,” and had been served an eviction notice for not paying rent.

Spring had four other open criminal cases in the state Friday, according to a release from the Department of Law, including third-degree assault, fourth-degree weapons misconduct, reckless endangerment and violating conditions of release.

Spring’s bail is set at $600,000 including, a $300,000 cash appearance bond and a $300,000 cash performance bond. Spring is currently at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

The officer who was shot has serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to the complaint.

Steven Parkinson, a fellow Anchorage Police Department employee, started a GoFundMe page benefitting the injured officer’s family. Parkinson said by phone he could not release details of the officer’s prognosis, but said the officer had a long road ahead for recovery.

Morgan Krakow

Morgan Krakow is a general assignment reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She is a 2019 graduate of the University of Oregon and spent the summer of 2019 as a reporting intern on the general assignment desk of The Washington Post. Contact her at mkrakow@adn.com.

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