Crime & Courts

Man was fatally shot by a stranger in South Anchorage park, charges say

A 28-year-old man was shot to death in the parking lot of a South Anchorage park late Tuesday in what appeared to be a random act of violence, according to charging documents.

Daniel Ackerman was fishing with his wife and a friend at Taku Lake Park when the group was approached by 19-year-old Teathloch Chan, according to a sworn affidavit from Anchorage detective Christina Roberts with charging documents filed Wednesday in Anchorage Superior Court.

The trio did not know Chan, Ackerman’s wife and friend later told investigators.

Ackerman’s wife said Chan initially asked them for cigarettes, but eventually the couple’s friend began helping him fish and showing him how to cast a reel, the affidavit said.

The friend told detectives that Chan later started heckling him, “stating that there were no fish,” Roberts wrote. The verbal argument turned physical when Chan punched the man and he fell to the ground.

Chan walked toward the parking lot and the two men followed, police said. The friend and Ackerman’s wife told investigators varying narratives about how the next moments unfolded: Ackerman’s wife said he had followed his friend and tried to break up an argument that had broken out between the other men, the affidavit said. The friend told investigators he and Ackerman followed Chan to “ask what was up.”

Chan then pulled out a gun and shot Ackerman several times in the upper body, the affidavit said. He died at the scene, according to police, who were called to the area around 11:20 p.m.

At least one other family was fishing at the lake when the shooting occurred, the affidavit said.

Chan ran from the area and police said a dog was used to trace him. Police said that eventually, officers found Chan hiding in a dumpster on King Arthur Court, about a mile from the park.

Chan was charged with first-degree murder and was being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

Ackerman was the third person to die by homicide within a week. In total, 16 people have died by homicide so far this year.

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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