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Anchorage man reportedly had altercation with homeless people the day before deadly shooting

Police do not believe victims were targeted for being homeless
Gambell Street remains closed between 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue after early Saturday morning...
Gambell Street remains closed between 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue after early Saturday morning shooting.(KTUU)
Published: Jun. 20, 2021 at 4:26 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 8:21 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A man accused of a deadly Saturday morning shooting near downtown Anchorage reportedly had an altercation with a group of homeless people in the same area the day before. However, police do not believe Saturday’s victims were targeted for experiencing homelessness.

The Anchorage Police Department reported the man they arrested is 21-year-old Anthony Herring. Police released Herring’s name on Sunday. They also identified the woman who died in Saturday’s violence as 37-year-old Jaclyn Welcome.

Charging documents obtained by Alaska’s News Source depict what witnesses and police say happened up to, during and following the shooting.

According to the documents, around 2:43 a.m. Saturday, officers were called about a shooting with multiple victims in the area of 4th Avenue and Gambell. When they arrived they found four victims at the scene. Moments later, another call came in about a person who had been shot in the head who had walked into the Ramada Inn nearby.

Through the investigation, police were able to piece together some information and identified a vehicle of interest. Through witness interviews and surveillance cameras, police say they were able to tie Herring and his vehicle to the scene.

According to the documents, Herring “had been involved in an altercation with a group of homeless people” the day before the shooting who were outside the Tesoro where he worked, and had been throwing knives at a nearby pole.

APD arrested Herring late Saturday. When police interviewed him he denied being at the scene, but police confronted him with video evidence that contradicted his story, and Herring changed his story.

According to Acting Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy, police do not believe the five people were targeted specifically because they were homeless.

“What we do know, is that the suspect has had some altercations and frustration with the groups that have been frequenting that area — We know there was an altercation that lead to the violence,” McCoy said. “And again we believe it’s because of that behavior, not because of their status or the fact that they are experiencing homelessness.”

Lisa Sauder is the CEO at Bean’s Cafe, a local soup kitchen, and has a close connection to the homeless community.

“I can say that some of the victims were known to us,” she said. “And certainly, it’s been a rough few days for our staff and for our clients.”

According to court documents, Herring told police he and his girlfriend were “riding around in his truck smoking marijuana and that he had nothing to do with the shootings.” While talking to police, he did say he owned multiple weapons.

Police then interviewed his girlfriend who confirmed that she was with him and they were driving around. She then went on to tell police what allegedly happened while she was in Herring’s truck when shots rang outside the Tesoro near 4th and Gambell.

“She said Herring complained about the homeless people who gathered there and expressed anger and frustration at them,” the court documents read. “She stated that while sitting in his truck, they heard a shot nearby that sounded close. She stated she dove into the backseat to hide, and she heard multiple shots being fired from the truck she was in.”

Herring’s girlfriend later confirmed with police that “she knew Herring had fired the shots from the truck,” according to the documents.

The documents then say the pair left the scene and went back to Herring’s apartment. Herring’s girlfriend added that Herring didn’t tell her anything about the shooting.

The documents go on to say the four other victims who were shot all required surgery the night of the shooting and their injuries were serious.

Herring was arraigned Sunday. He faces multiple charges, including one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.

Editor’s Note: Charging documents are not attached to the story since they contain personal identifying information. This article has also been updated with additional information and quotes.

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