Crime & Courts

Man fatally shot pregnant woman and toddler prior to Anchorage duplex fire, police say

A 46-year-old man fatally shot a pregnant woman and 2-year-old girl in an East Anchorage duplex earlier this month before the building was set on fire, police said Thursday.

The fire on May 12 immediately came under investigation by both the Anchorage Fire Department and police.

Firefighters were called to the 2600 block of Easthaven Circle around 2:35 p.m., fire officials said at the time. Two people were initially found dead inside the home, and a third person was found dead the next day, police said in an update on Thursday.

During the investigation with the fire department, detectives determined Esteban Pope shot and killed a 32-year-old pregnant woman and a 2-year-old girl before fatally shooting himself, police said. The woman was seven months into her pregnancy, police said.

Police said the crime was related to domestic violence and did not name the woman or girl. A spokeswoman for the department did not answer additional questions, including how they may have been related.

Police said the fire appeared to be intentionally set, but a spokeswoman did not answer questions asking whether Pope was suspected to have started it.

One person was believed to be inside the neighboring unit of the duplex when the fire began and was displaced from their home, a spokeswoman for the fire department said at the time.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at