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Family raises questions after son’s suicide in front of Anchorage police

Family hopes independent autopsy provides answers
Family questions son's shooting death in front of Anchorage police
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 7:03 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Sunday, Jan. 9, Anchorage police say 21-year-old Kawika Pacarro took his own life on a dead-end street in Bear Valley, after a verbal exchange with officers who had been following his vehicle.

Pacarro’s family has since raised questions about the moments leading up to his death, and say they hope to hire a pathologist to do an independent autopsy of his body.

A police description of the events of Jan. 9 says that just before 2 p.m. officers responded to a domestic disturbance involving Pacarro, and during that investigation, they determined that Pacarro was involved in the deadly shooting of 20-year-old Markland Morgan a day prior.

Officers found Pacarro driving a vehicle in South Anchorage, the police release says, and they followed him to a dead-end street at Newell Drive and Clark’s Road in the Bear Valley neighborhood.

Kawika “exited his vehicle, had a brief verbal exchange with officers, and then took his own life. No shots were fired at police and police did not discharge their weapons,” the release states.

Pacarro’s family, both in Alaska and the Lower 48, say they have questions about what exactly happened in Bear Valley, and what occurred the day before with Morgan.

“The Pacarro Family has decided to delay the cremation of Kawika and seeks transparency from APD to receive the honest story in honor of Kawika,” reads part of a statement from Shaun Pacarro, Kawika’s father, who is also a member of a popular Anchorage reggae band known as H3.

Shaun Pacarro claims he and his wife received a text message from Kawika at 1:59 p.m. the day of his death. They knew he was upset about visitation issues with his 2-year-old daughter. They say they discovered the location of his vehicle through a GPS system and went to Bear Valley, arriving just about an hour later.

There, according to the family’s statement, a police officer told them to wait in their vehicle. About 30 minutes later, they were told that their son had taken his own life.

Shaun Pacarro and other family members told Alaska’s News Source that the medical examiner found two gunshot wounds to Kawika’s chest. One Lower 48 family member, who asked to remain anonymous due to concerns for her safety, went into more detail, saying she was told that both gunshots were in the left side, at a downward angle, and that they missed Kawika’s heart, but went through his lungs and out his back.

Pacarro’s mother, Kalindi, questioned, “how do you explain a suicide victim shooting themselves twice in the upper chest?’”

The Pacarros have requested dash camera video of the incident. Anchorage voters recently approved funding for body-worn cameras for police officers, but the drafting of that policy is still underway.

When it comes to the crime their son is accused of committing the day before he died, the Pacarro’s are still seeking answers. Shaun Pacarro’s statement says the family is close, and has “no known connection” to Morgan. The Pacarro’s “do not want to diminish the loss that Mr. Morgan’s family has experienced.”

“We are a grieving family, we grieve for Mr. Morgan’s family, for Kawika’s toddler daughter,” Shaun Pacarro wrote in the statement.

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