Crime & Courts

Man charged with murder in downtown Fairbanks shooting

A Fairbanks resident is accused of shooting and killing another man Friday afternoon in a confrontation that authorities say appears to have stemmed from his anger over a dumpster fire earlier that day.

Matthew Lee Myers, 42, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree murder, the Fairbanks Police Department said in a statement Saturday.

Around 2:25 p.m. Friday, law enforcement officers responded to 911 calls about a shooting in the area of First Avenue and Cushman Street in downtown Fairbanks, police said.

Officers arriving at the scene found 26-year-old Rolando Pressley lying in the middle of the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. After medics and law enforcement -- including Fairbanks police and state court officers who responded from the nearby courthouse -- tried to save Pressley’s life, he was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Myers told detectives at the scene that he was upset with Pressley after seeing him start a dumpster fire near Myers’ home earlier that day, according to police.

Myers said to detectives that he had left his home with a firearm planning on “giving Pressley a piece of his mind,” police said in the statement.

Myers told detectives that when he found Pressley, he yelled at him about the fire, and then Pressley “turned around and lunged at him,” police said. Myers said he then took his gun out of the holster and shot at Pressley multiple times before and after he fell to the ground, according to police. Pressley appeared to be unarmed, police said.

Multiple witnesses said they saw Pressley shoot Myers and continue to shoot him even after he had fallen, police said.

There was no evidence the two men knew each other personally, according to police.

Fairbanks police encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact Detective Rob Hall at or by calling 907-450-6468.

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.