Crime & Courts

Teen arrested in fatal shooting of mother and daughter in South Anchorage

Anchorage police identified the two people shot to death Tuesday night -- Anchorage's first homicides of 2016 -- as a mother and daughter, and have arrested a teenage boy in connection with the case who lived with them.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro identified the mother as 40-year-old Shannon Duke and her daughter as 18-year-old Chloe Duke. Police declined to comment Wednesday on their relationship to the 15-year-old boy who was arrested.

Police said the three of them lived together in a South Anchorage home on Spinnaker Drive, near Rabbit Creek Elementary School.

Shannon Duke's husband lived there too. Around 7 p.m. Tuesday, he called 911. He said he had just gotten home and found his wife and daughter dead, police said.

About an hour later, police put out an alert saying they were looking for a silver Chevrolet truck with a loud muffler. Soon after, troopers found the truck near Big Lake with the 15-year-old boy inside. He was arrested, Castro said.

Castro said police also recovered a gun during the investigation. Police spokeswoman Renee? Oistad said she did not have information on whom the gun was registered to. She would not comment on any motives in the case.

By late Wednesday afternoon, police had removed the crime scene tape that surrounded the family's house. The home's white icicle lights continued to blink on and off, an American flag hung outside and a child's bicycle sat on the front porch.


Neighbors described the area as quiet and the neighborhood as one where they would leave their garage doors open in the summer. Those reached at their homes said they didn't know much about the Duke family.

Heidi Embley, Anchorage School District spokeswoman, said that Shannon Duke last worked for the school district in 2012, as a teacher assistant at Northern Lights ABC School.

Embley said she couldn't confirm Wednesday whether Chloe Duke was an ASD student or what school she attended, citing student privacy laws. She did say, however, that school psychologists were providing "crisis support" at South Anchorage High School.

The teen suspect, who wasn't identified due to his age, was taken to the McLaughlin Youth Center and the case was referred to the state Division of Juvenile Justice.

Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion said that because the case is currently a juvenile justice matter, he couldn't disclose what charges -- if any -- were filed against the teen.

"It's all confidential and will remain that way," Campion said.

Campion said prosecutors haven't decided whether to seek a discretionary waiver allowing them to charge the teen as an adult -- a step that would, if successful, open records on the case to the public.

"There's a process that we have to evaluate to determine whether we'll seek a waiver," Campion said. "We're evaluating that this morning, and it will take several days to make that decision."

Ultimately, if prosecutors seek to charge the teen as an adult, a Superior Court judge will decide whether they may do so.

"It's generally months to get to that point," Campion said.

Correction: An initial version of this story inaccurately reported that police said a gun recovered during the investigation had been used to kill the victims.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.