Crime & Courts

Woman found dead in East Anchorage home after standoff with police involving gunfire

A Wednesday afternoon confrontation between an armed woman and an unarmed neighbor in East Anchorage ended with the woman dead following a standoff with officers, the police department said.

Both the woman and a SWAT officer fired weapons during the encounter, police said. They are investigating the incident as an officer-involved shooting.

Officers responded to the 7400 block of East 20th Avenue in the Chester Valley area at 4:39 p.m. on a report of a neighborhood “disturbance,” police said in an online statement early Thursday. The armed woman, whose name has not yet been released, had gone back to her home before officers arrived, police said.

The woman, who was alone in the house, refused to comply with numerous officer commands and fired a weapon multiple times, police said. Some neighbors were evacuated from their homes.

Officers eventually deployed gas into the home, and one SWAT officer fired a weapon from outside the home, police said. When officers entered, they found the woman dead.

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad did not answer questions Thursday morning, including whether the woman was struck by the officer’s gunfire.

The incident is the fourth officer-involved shooting investigation in Anchorage since mid-May. Three prior shootings left two men dead and a third hospitalized.


Tyler May, 21, died June 3 when he was shot and killed during a confrontation with police in a Fairview parking lot. Two days earlier, officers shot and wounded 22-year-old Kaleb Bourdukofsky as he fled after opening fire into a crowd downtown early in the morning, killing a 25-year-old man and injuring another, police said. Anchorage police officers shot and killed 34-year-old Kristopher Handy outside a West Anchorage apartment building on May 13. Police said he raised a gun toward them.

Officers remained at the scene of the most recent incident Thursday morning as an investigation continued. Multiple broken windows could be seen in the two-story home. Evidence markers were visible in a garage with a broken door.

Police said the medical examiner would determine the woman’s cause of death.

The SWAT officer who fired their weapon will be placed on four days of administrative leave under department practice and their name will be released 72 hours after the incident, police said.

The state Office of Special Prosecutions will review the officer’s use of force and determine whether it was justified, they said. Once that investigation is complete, the police department will conduct an internal review.