Police say an SUV that burned at an East Anchorage intersection Thursday morning was abandoned by an armed man who tried to carjack another vehicle and is still at large, prompting a nearby school to temporarily enter stay-put mode.
According to a police statement from spokesperson Renee Oistad, the sequence of events began with a report of a burning 1995 Jeep Cherokee at Northern Lights Boulevard and Wesleyan Drive, which quickly prompted a road closure in the area.
Northbound Wesleyan Closed @ Northern Lights Due to Car Fire https://t.co/Do2FtZUwiF APD Public Info. (@APDInfo) December 3, 2015
Anchorage Fire Department spokesperson John See said the initial call came in at 7:54 a.m., with the vehicle fire safely extinguished about 15 minutes later. He didn't have any immediate word on the fire's cause Thursday morning.
"It looks like when (firefighters) arrived they had a green Jeep, with flames visible from the vehicle -- no one was inside," See said.
Oistad said officers got a call at 8:08 a.m. from the driver of another car, who was at the McDonald's restaurant at DeBarr Road and Boniface Parkway. The man told responding officers he picked up the man police believe had been driving the Jeep that burned.
"They drove to the parking lot of the McDonald's on DeBarr and Boniface where the suspect attempted to carjack the driver at gunpoint," police wrote. "When the driver refused to relinquish his vehicle, the suspect fled the area on foot, southeast toward the Nunaka Valley subdivision."
Police brought in K-9 units and formed a perimeter but were unable to find the suspect.
Anchorage School District officials said Thursday morning that staff at Nunaka Valley Elementary School let waiting students into the school before its usual 9 a.m. opening time as a precaution.
District spokesperson Patti Layou said the school's stay-put mode was shortly before its usual recess period, from 10 to 10:30 a.m.
Anyone with information on the carjacking suspect is asked to call APD at 907-786-8900.