Anchorage police say a man died after leading police on a car chase and exchanging gunfire with officers in the neighborhood of Fairview on Sunday morning. Police shut down a stretch of 15th Avenue from Karluk to Sitka streets while they investigated the incident and the exact circumstances surrounding the man's death.
"We can't say right now whether we shot him or whether he took his own life," Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said near the scene Sunday.
Mew detailed the events that led up to the fatal shooting, though he cautioned that everything was "very preliminary."
Around 9 a.m., police first received reports of an erratic and dangerous driver near the intersection of Reka Drive and Pine Street near Russian Jack Springs Park in East Anchorage. Driving a black Ford F-250 pickup, Mew said the man ran red lights and drove into a snowbank. When police attempted to pin him in, he rammed their vehicles and pointed a gun at the officers, according to police. The officers disengaged from the pursuit and the man sped off, Mew said.
Shortly after, police received more reports of the same vehicle driving erratically, including into oncoming traffic in the area of Northern Lights Boulevard and Boniface Parkway. Police said they chased the vehicle to 15th Avenue and Medfra Street in Fairview before the driver stopped and got out of the truck.
He pointed his gun at police, Mew said, and multiple shots were fired by both the suspect and at least two officers. The man moved toward a nearby home and more shots were fired, according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department.
The man was declared dead outside of the home around 10 a.m. No officers were hurt in the incident.
"None of our people were injured, I just think we banged up a lot of our cars today," Mew said.
Jennifer Castro, director of communications at APD, said police were still attempting to determine how many rounds were fired outside of the Fairview home Sunday. Mew said police were attempting to determine where each round landed.
Police are asking anyone with additional information in the case to call 786-8900 and press 0 to speak with a dispatcher.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing