Crime & Courts

Death of man following downtown Anchorage bar fight now considered homicide, police say

Gaslight, bar, downtown

Police say a bar fight that turned fatal in downtown Anchorage earlier this month is now being investigated as a homicide.

Brodie Smith, 30, died in the hospital last week after being severely beaten in a downtown parking lot on Dec. 4 following multiple fights at The Gaslight Lounge, according to court documents filed with charges against his accused attackers.

Kevin L. Green, 22, and Jalen J.J. Cannon, 20, are currently charged with assault in the beating, though police said the case is now being investigated as a homicide. The District Attorney’s Office will ultimately decide if more charges are appropriate, police said.

Smith was found unconscious with what police described at the time as “visible trauma to the upper body” in the early hours of Dec. 4. He died six days later.

The incident marks the second time this year that a fight that occurred at the Gaslight — located directly across Fourth Avenue from Anchorage police headquarters — has turned fatal. In January, Carl McGeary was punched outside the bar by a stranger just after closing time. Like Smith, McGeary died days later in the hospital.

[Previously: Anchorage man’s family says a series of failures after he was assaulted outside a downtown bar might have led to his death]

John Pattee, who owns the bar, said in a phone interview that Smith, Green and Cannon arrived together and brought their problems with them to the bar, where things came to a head.

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Green punched Smith while they were sitting together at a table in the bar, according to a complaint signed by Anchorage detective Christina Roberts and attached to charging documents. Other people in the bar separated them, the complaint said.

Smith then followed Green and the men fought again, the complaint said. Security intervened and the complaint said Smith was escorted out of the bar.

He was combative with the security guard and Pattee said the men fell to the ground while the guard was trying to calm the situation. The charges describe the situation as a physical altercation where Smith “is taken to the ground and held down.”

An unrelated man, identified in the complaint only as Leo, kicked Smith while he was on the ground. He then punched Smith while he sat on the ground afterwards, the complaint said. Anchorage police did not answer questions about whether that person is facing any charges. A spokeswoman said the investigation is ongoing.

Pattee said the security guard handled the situation appropriately. Staff at the bar will call police if a situation gets out of hand or if there are injuries, he said. Smith got up and walked away and Pattee said he did not appear on security camera footage to be injured.

Cannon and another person passed Smith as they walked to their SUV, which was parked near Third Avenue and Christensen Drive, the complaint said. Smith began walking in the same direction, and the complaint said he contacted them near the vehicle as Green arrived with another person.

The group had a heated discussion and Smith walked away after being pushed, the charges said. The others got into the SUV, but Green and Cannon got out again and approached Smith, the complaint said.

Smith was pushed and he and Green fell to the ground in the lower parking lot of the 49th State Brewing Co., the complaint said. Green punched Smith and Cannon kicked him, the charges said.

They started to leave but eventually returned to Smith, who was found unconscious. Several people called 911, and the complaint said Green performed CPR.

Medics took Smith to a hospital, where the complaint said staff believed he had a brain bleed that he was unlikely to survive.

Smith died from the injuries on Dec. 10.

Green was arrested on Dec. 6 and a warrant was issued for Cannon’s arrest on Dec. 8. Police said he was arrested on Dec. 12.

Both men are charged with second-degree assault, and Green also faces a count of fourth-degree assault. An attorney for Green could not be immediately reached on Tuesday, and Cannon’s attorney withdrew from the case this week. He was scheduled for a hearing concerning his representation Wednesday.

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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