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Man wounded in Dillingham shooting flown to Anchorage

  • Author: Dave Bendinger
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published May 11, 2016

One man is in custody and another hospitalized at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage after a shooting around midnight Wednesday in Dillingham.

Isiah Thompson, 23, was taken to Kanakanak Hospital with a gunshot wound. The hospital said Thompson was in critical condition before he was flown to ANMC Wednesday afternoon. He was listed in fair condition in the medical center's intensive care unit.

Twenty-one-year-old Reece Johnson was arrested after a three-hour standoff Wednesday morning at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development housing area in Dillingham.

Johnson has been charged with first-degree assault and fourth-degree weapons misconduct. After serving a warrant, officers found a handgun hidden in a washing machine and large amounts of alcohol and marijuana.

In an affidavit filed with the court, officer Tanner Lowery wrote Thompson suffered a gunshot wound from a bullet that "entered through his upper middle back, passed through his spine, and exited through his clavicle, shattering his clavicle."

"A doctor stated that Thompson will likely be paralyzed," he continued.

Police say, based on interviews with family members in the home Tuesday night, that Johnson and Thompson were in the shed behind the house, "drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and listening to music." Johnson told officers they had been drinking whiskey. Denying a role in the shooting, Johnson said he had stepped out of the shed to smoke a cigarette, and when he went back, he found Thompson lying on his stomach on the ground, but he hadn't heard a gunshot.

Police recovered a .40 caliber handgun with a scratched-off serial number from a washing machine in the yard.

Five Dillingham Police Department officers were on duty this week, and all five were on the scene through a wet, blustery standoff. Traffic was stopped. Nearby residents were told to remain inside and to lock their windows and doors.

Officers responded in full "active shooter" gear, including extra protection and semiautomatic rifles.The situation ended peacefully after Johnson's brother Donald helped talk his brother into surrendering. Donald Johnson remained on the phone with police chief Dan Pasquariello for more than an hour.

Reece Johnson was then taken to the Dillingham jail.

Johnson and Thompson are known to be friends, and both have criminal records.

"Yeah, as far as I know those two are buddies," said neighbor Steve Johnson, who was disappointed to learn details as they emerged Wednesday morning. "It's not a good thing when you hear someone that's hanging onto life like that."

Still, he wasn't surprised.

"Every other night there's a lot of screaming outside. A lot of people just basically drunk, mad at each other. It happens a lot on this cul-de-sac," said Johnson.

Most of DPD's officers were continuing to work the case Wednesday morning. Throughout the night they had also responded to two suicide attempts as well as a man who reported he'd been beaten by another with a golf club. When the thinly stretched department learned man's attacker had left the scene, officers told him his case would have to wait for the moment.

This story has been reprinted with permission from the original at KDLG.org.

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