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Police identify man killed in Sand Lake

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 9:02 AM AKDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:16 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Police Department identified the victim who was found dead Wednesday morning in Sand Lake.

26-year-old Kevin Kirlin was found dead in the parking lot of the Trophy Lounge bar in Sand Lake around 7:30 a.m. He had injuries to his upper body, they wrote in a release.

Police wrote they were investigating the death as a homicide. By about 10:30 a.m., they had arrested 23-year-old Tyler Phillips, APD wrote in an updated release. He faces charges of first-and second-degree murder.

Anchorage police allege that Phillips met with the Kirlin in the parking lot of the Trophy Lounge to complete a drug transaction. They wrote in the release that they believe an altercation broke out between the two men, and claim Phillips “fatally struck” the other man with a sharp object.

Police wrote that Phillips fled from the scene, but was later determined to be a suspect. He was taken into custody later Wednesday morning after being interviewed by homicide detectives. He is currently in the Anchorage Jail.

Alaska’s News Source spoke with employees at the Jewel Lake Bowling Center, which shares a parking lot with the Trophy Lounge. Manager Dustin Sherman said their surveillance camera picks up a lot of questionable activity in the parking lot.

The camera caught footage of the alleged altercation described by police.

“Everything, details — we got license plates of one of the vehicles involved,” Sherman said. “We were able to get a pretty good description and give it to APD. We do have some drug activity in our parking lot, random times of the day. The neighborhood’s kind of changed over the 10 years I’ve been around. Back when I was here 10 years ago, it was a pretty safe neighborhood and things have changed a lot.”

According to data from APD, the death this morning marks the 10th homicide so far this year. By comparison, in 2020, there were 21 homicides recorded for the entire year. Three of those were fatal officer-involved shootings.

Police ask anyone with information or footage of the incident to call 311. People can also share anonymously through the Crime Stoppers website.

Editor’s note: The story was updated with additional information.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct inaccurate homicide statistics provided by the Anchorage Police Department. The department sent correct information on July 8.

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