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Man charged with murder in fatal Eagle River shooting

An Anchorage man was charged with murder Sunday after police say he opened fire on the occupants of his car while parked on a lonely Eagle River residential road early that morning. A 56-year-old woman was killed and two men critically injured.

James Andrew Baker, 32, was charged with murder in the incident, police said.

The Eagle River shooting was not the only gun violence in the Anchorage area early Sunday. Within a span of just a few hours, APD officers also found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound in downtown Anchorage and responded to a report of gunfire at a home on the east side of town.

"It has not been determined whether any of these cases are related," wrote APD Communications Director Jennifer Castro in a statement Sunday.

At about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, police were called to a vehicle in the area of Barclay Drive and Brownie Drive, a secluded neighborhood carved into a mountainside in Eagle River, north of Anchorage. Police found June Mary McCarr, 56, dead in a vehicle. Two men found at the scene, 24-year-old Roy Boswell and 31-year-old Kurtis Reed, had also been shot and were taken to a local hospital in critical condition, according to the APD. As of Sunday night they were listed in stable condition.

Baker was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree assault and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the Eagle River shooting. He was being held without bail Sunday night.

Baker drove his vehicle with five passengers to the intersection of Barclay and Brownie to use drugs, police said.

"For an undetermined reason, Baker produced a firearm and started firing at the other occupants inside of the vehicle," police said in a statement. "All of the occupants fled the scene on foot, except for McCarr who was found deceased by police inside of the vehicle."

On Sunday afternoon, police and a mobile crime scene investigation van were at the scene. McCarr's body had not yet been removed from the car.

Police were continuing to investigate, and said that they were hoping to speak with a driver who had picked Baker up along Eagle River Road after the shooting and drove him to a nearby gas station. Police described the vehicle that picked Baker up as "possibly a newer model dark red or maroon SUV."

Anyone with additional information was asked to call 907-786-8900 and press 0 to speak to a dispatcher.

Earlier in the morning Sunday, around 3 a.m., officers received reports of gunshots being fired in the downtown area of West Fifth Avenue and D Street. Police found a woman with a gunshot wound to her hip. She was taken to a hospital in stable condition, according to Castro.

No one has been arrested in that incident.

Less than two hours later, just before 5 a.m., police responded to a shots-fired report at East Fifth Avenue and Mellow Place, in East Anchorage.

"The complainant reported to police that there was lots of yelling and screaming between multiple people outside," the APD said in a news release.

The person reported more shots fired and people screaming, but when police arrived "vehicles fled and people scattered."

Police found shell casings in the area.

Sunday morning's burst of violence was another installment in what has become an unsettling phenomenon in recent months: Sunday morning dispatches from Anchorage police describing one or more overnight shootings.

Despite a police task force formed in January to crack down on violent crime in the city, police have recorded at least 17 major incidents in which someone has been shot or gunshots were reported since the beginning of the year, according to APD public information alert system archives.