Crime & Courts

Wasilla man arrested in Captain Cook standoff threatened to shoot people from hotel, charges say

A Wasilla man involved in a four-hour standoff Friday at a downtown Anchorage hotel told police he had 25 guns and threatened to shoot people before asking officers to shoot him, according to charges released Saturday.

The standoff, at the Hotel Captain Cook, closed a large portion of downtown Anchorage for much of Friday afternoon and evening until 52-year-old John Holman was arrested.

Police contacted Holman earlier in the day on a welfare check, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Daybell said during an court hearing Saturday afternoon. Holman told officers he had a firearm in his vehicle but otherwise “appeared normal,” Daybell said.

Then, around 2:44 p.m. on Friday, Holman called 911 and told police dispatchers he was at the hotel and “had 25 guns and wants to shoot (Alaska Natives) and wants APD to kill him,” according to a sworn affidavit signed by Officer Ross Henikman of the Anchorage Police Department.

The call prompted a major police response: streets closed and officers surrounded the hotel; several aimed rifles toward the hotel’s southwest tower.

Inside the hotel, officers determined he had checked into a room and they were able to speak to him from the hallway through the locked door of his room, according to the charges.

[Man arrested, charged after threats, heavy police response at downtown Anchorage hotel]

Police said he began “yelling profanities” at the officers, and also yelling for help. He eventually stopped communicating with officers and barricaded himself in the room.

One of Holman’s family members told police from the scene that they were concerned about his mental state, and that Holman had firearms “with him and in his vehicle,” the charges said. A police drone was seen flying outside the room.

By about 6:30 p.m., glass shattered from a window on the hotel’s top floor and police took Holman into custody. His right foot was bandaged and appeared to be bleeding.

Holman was charged with felony second-degree terroristic threatening and appeared in court Saturday afternoon. His bail was set at $5,000 and electronic monitoring will be required upon his release.

It was not clear if Holman had any weapons inside the hotel, or if police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Anchorage police did not answer questions on Friday and Saturday.

Holman’s attorney could not be immediately reached on Saturday afternoon.

According to public records, Holman is a pilot and owns a sport fish lodge in the Bristol Bay region.

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Annie Berman

Annie Berman covers health care for the Anchorage Daily News. She's a fellow with Report for America, and is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. A veteran of AmeriCorps and Vista volunteer programs, she's previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in the Bay Area.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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