Man accused of shooting Anchorage police officer in early morning standoff taken into custody
Officer expected to survive after being shot while executing a search warrant
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A man who police say shot and wounded an officer while a search warrant was being served, leading to an hours-long standoff Friday morning near downtown Anchorage, has been taken into custody.
The police officer, who is out of surgery and is expected to survive, was shot during an assault investigation and subsequent search warrant execution early Friday morning on East 10th Avenue, during which Anchorage police blocked Ingra Street from Ninth to 15th Avenues.
In a press conference Friday afternoon, Police Chief Michael Kerle said officers were responding to a report of “an assault with a hammer” around 2:44 a.m.
“While officers were speaking to the victim, the suspect exited an adjacent apartment and officers attempted to contact him,” Kerle said.
That man has since been identified as 28-year-old Dillon Spring.
Kerle said there was probable cause for a felony arrest, but described Spring as “not compliant” and said he went back into the apartment. Police said in an earlier press release that they got a search warrant for the apartment and began giving “multiple less lethal warnings” to Spring, but they did not initially say what those other warnings were.
“Once the warrant was in hand, officers knocked and made several verbal announcements to the suspect,” Kerle said in the press conference.
When Spring did not respond, Kerle said officers “were forced to breach” the apartment door. Spring had barricaded the entrance to the apartment, according to Kerle.
Police said the “suspect fired multiple rounds at police,” hitting one officer in the lower body. Asked for more details in the press conference, Kerle said only that the officer was hit several times, in the lower part of their body.
“He fired at every single officer that was present,” Kerle said of Spring.
The officer was out of surgery at the time of the press conference, Kerle announced. Police are not identifying him at this time.
“The officer and his family will need time to heal,” Kerle said. “Please respect their privacy during this time.”
Another officer returned fire at Spring, according to police, but did not hit him. From there, Kerle said the group of “at least five” officers extricated from the apartment building and brought the wounded officer to safety.
A SWAT team was called out to help resolve the situation, as well as a crisis negotiation team. Police asked people to avoid the area and warned that gas may be used in their operations, which could affect those with sensitive respiratory systems. The apartment building was also evacuated, Kerle said.
Asked about the techniques used during the standoff, Kerle said they are called “distraction techniques” but declined to go into more detail in order to protect the department’s tactical operations.
“Some involve smoke, some involve loud noises,” he said. “... Those (are) techniques we use in an attempt to persuade the suspect to give himself up.”
None of those techniques involved firearms, according to Kerle.
The police chief said negotiators made contact with Spring over the phone after several hours, and through verbal communication were able to “have him walk out of the apartment by himself.”
The man that was originally assaulted with a hammer suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the police department for additional questioning.
Additionally, Kerle said the officers who responded to the scene had a citizen rider with them, and that person performed first aid on the officer that was shot.
“He and other officers that extricated the injured officer performed first aid and did a wonderful job in helping to save his life,” Kerle said.
Along with the Anchorage Police Department, members of the FBI responded to this morning’s scene as well as the Anchorage Fire Department.
Kerle said the police department would release more information about the charges Spring faces later on Friday. Online court records show three open cases against him — he was most recently charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and possessing a firearm while intoxicated.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.
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