Tragic end to Powder Ridge standoff

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 14:33
Members of the Anchorage Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit walk up Vasili Drive in Eagle River Thursday following a standoff with what was believed to be an armed man inside his nearby home. Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said the 39-year-old man was found dead inside the home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Neighborhood streets were shut down for about four hours while officers tried in vain to contact the man.

A standoff in a quiet Eagle River neighborhood ended in tragedy Thursday afternoon when police discovered a 39-year-old man dead inside his Powder Ridge home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to police spokeswoman Anita Shell, officers arrived at the home on Theodore Drive at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Shell said the man's wife called police and said her husband had been sending her "goodbye" text messages while she was at work. More than 20 officers surrounded the family's home, including the department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and K-9 units. Police shut down parts of Theodore Drive, Vasili Drive and Eklutna Park Drive (which runs parallel to Theodore Drive) for several hours while officers tried to negotiate with the man, who was believed to be holed up inside. Shell said seven homes in the area were also evacuated during the incident.

Shell said the man was known to have access to several guns inside the home.

At around 1:30 p.m., police used a loudspeaker to call out to the man, asking him to let them know he was OK.

"Please answer the phone. Even if you don't want to come out, answer the phone," said a police negotiator.

After getting no response to their repeaded attempts to make contact with the man, Shell said police used the home's garage door opener (obtained from the man's wife) to gain entry to the home at around 2 p.m.

Once inside, Shell said officers determined the man had shot himself in the head.

Shell said the man's next of kin have been notified.

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