Crime & Courts

Man shot and killed by Anchorage police was holding a rifle, police say

Update: The man shot was identified by Anchorage police on Monday as Sean M. Burke, 34.

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A man holding a rifle along the Glenn Highway was shot by an Anchorage police officer early Sunday, police said.

Two patrol officers stopped around 5:40 a.m. on Sunday when they saw a blue SUV pulled over on the South Birchwood exit ramp of the outbound Glenn Highway, said Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle during a brief statement to news media Sunday.

A man was standing outside the car with an open rear hatch and was holding a rifle, Kerle said.

The man advanced on the officers, Kerle said. One of the officers shot and hit the man at least once in the upper chest, he said.

After additional officers arrived, police approached the man to provide him with help and found a handgun on him, according to a written statement issued by police.

Medics from the Anchorage Fire Department took the man to a hospital where he was declared dead, police said.


The man who was shot has been identified, but his name hasn’t yet been released pending notification of family, police said.

No officers were injured, police said.

The state Office of Special Prosecutions and the police department’s internal affairs office will review the incident, the chief said.

The two officers who encountered the man with the SUV were investigating a call about a shooting in the area, Kerle said. It was not known whether the man who was shot was related to the incident reported in the call, he said.

The officer who shot the man will be placed on four days of administrative leave, Kerle said. His name will be released publicly 72 hours after the incident, he said.

The South Birchwood exit ramp remained closed shortly after noon on Sunday as officers continued investigating the incident.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn more.

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