Sullivan Arena residents raise safety concerns following stabbing incident

It was a heart breaking afternoon on Tuesday for residents at the Sullivan Arena. Anchorage Police Department responded to an assault around 1pm.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:55 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It was a heartbreaking afternoon on Tuesday for residents at the Sullivan Arena when a man was stabbed outside the facility and is reported to have sustained life-threatening injuries.

According to a dispatch from the Anchorage Police Department, officers responded to an assault with weapons call around 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the Sullivan Arena. When they arrived at the scene, officers found a man who residents said was stabbed.

“The unfortunate event did occur. But the response was built out as it should and they responded as they should,” Anchorage Homeless Coordinator Alexis Johnson said.

Johnson said Anchorage Safety Patrol members jumped into action just seconds after the assault, assisting the victim. Although municipality staff at the Sullivan Arena report the facility has one safety protocol member for every 18.5 residents, many still have concerns about safety.

“So right now we’re operating above what is best practice, so we don’t think there is any discussions of upping security,” Johnson said.

Johnson said currently safety protocol at the arena calls for a security officer for every 18.5 residents, but many still have concerns about safety — and some say that an assault outside of the arena did not come as a surprise.

“That it happened to him, yes, but wasn’t a surprise no,” the victim’s friend Scott said.

The news of the attack came as a shock to friends of the victim, who describe the victim as a brother.

“I started crying, I started crying,” Scott said.

The victim — whose name has not been released — was said to be friendly to others and constantly helping those who needed it.

“If he has extra food, he would make sure someone else has it. And that’s what he did for me,” said Sullivan resident and friend to the victim Anthony Kahutak.

Following Tuesday’s attack, the Sullivan offered support to its residents. Representatives of the city said the peer support teams and housing specialists at the Arena refocused their attention the rest of the day to talk about how the event had impacted residents. As friends say, they’re still processing the news.

“I am feeling a lot better knowing he’s still breathing. Mentally, I’m still collecting on what happened,” Kahutak said.

Sullivan residents pray and hope that he will be released soon.

“There’s a lot of people here that care about him. We are all rooting for him. We’re all praying for me. He better get his scrawny little butt back here, cause we all miss him,” Scott said.