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Murder added to charges in shooting of Wasilla teen by friend

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: February 1, 2019
  • Published February 1, 2019

PALMER -- Allen Hodgson stayed with 19-year-old Gunnar Swan after another friend shot Swan in the neck and fled along with three other teenage witnesses, investigators say.

Gunnar Swan and his mother, Monika Swan-Armitstead, at motocross races in Sutton last summer. Swan was killed in a shooting on Jan. 27.

Hodgson, 18, said Friday he tried to stop the bleeding from the gunshot wound and did CPR on Swan but couldn’t save him.

“He said he loved me,” Hodgson said in an interview Friday. “He loved everyone.”

His friend died in the driver’s seat of his own Jeep early the morning of Jan. 27.

Jordan Flowers, a 19-year-old from Wasilla, now faces murder charges in Swan’s death.

Flowers was arraigned Tuesday on charges of manslaughter and assault in the death of Swan. On Thursday, he was indicted by a Palmer grand jury on charges of first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, and three counts of third-degree assault.

Jordan Flowers, 19, was arraigned on manslaughter and assault charges in Palmer court on Monday, Jan. 28, 2018. Flowers is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Gunnar Swan early Sunday morning in Wasilla. (Zaz Hollander / ADN)

The new charges reflect information gained as investigators spoke “in detail” with the multiple witnesses to the shooting, according to Rick Allen, an assistant district attorney in Palmer. He declined to elaborate.

Flowers, Swan and Hodgson drove to a Wasilla address in Swan’s 2014 Jeep Patriot to pick up three other teens at a party, Hodgson said. The three were just getting in when the shooting occurred.

Investigators say Flowers put his semi-automatic Glock just under the SUV’s headrest and fired, killing Swan, according to a sworn affidavit filed with the original charges. Then he fled until Alaska State Troopers found him an hour later, cold and wet and about to get a ride from his father.

Flowers later told investigators he couldn’t remember details of the shooting and blacked out briefly after the gun went off, the affidavit says. He returned to the scene briefly, and Hodgson took away the gun.

It was Hodgson who called 911 around 2:30 that morning.

Swan’s mother called Hodgson “heroic” for the help he gave her son.

“He stayed with Gunnar, called for help, and didn’t leave Gunnar through this tragedy. We know that Gunnar’s last words were, ‘Tell everyone I love them,’ because of this young man,” Monika Swan-Armitstead wrote in a message she posted on Facebook.

Her son was very close with his grandparents, she said friday. He named his dog Sprocket out of his love of dirt bikes.

Swan was well-known in Mat-Su motocross circles. The Alaska State Sno-X Lions Club planned to hold a race dedication and celebration of life at 2 p.m. Saturday in Willow. The next Saturday, Swan’s friend Colton Wallace is planning a gathering at the Jim Creek public use area near Butte for Swan, whose nickname was “Goon.”

A Wasilla tattoo parlor is offering free tattoos reminiscent of Swan -- his racing number, a pickup, a sprocket -- to family and close friends.

Swan started riding dirt bikes when he was little, Wallace said. He got into racing two or three years ago.

“I’d text him on Instagram asking for help on (how to fix) my bike,” Wallace said Friday. “He always knew exactly what the problem was and how to fix it.”

Swan-Armitstead in her Facebook post said she was “pulling myself up by the bootstraps to do this” but urged parents of grieving young people who knew her son to “rally around our kids and lift them up."

"They don’t know how to deal with this. And rather than have this turn into more issues, and more drinking and more problems, let’s be there for them and show them how to heal.”