Police charge individual after reports of violent threats made toward Downtown Anchorage establishment

FastCast morning digital headlines for Friday, Nov. 3, 2023.
Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 1:26 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A man was taken into police custody and charged with terroristic threatening following online social media posts that threatened gun violence against a Downtown Anchorage establishment, officials with the Anchorage Police Department said.

In a response to an information request, an APD spokesperson said 22-year-old Alexander Lych was taken into custody at the Anchorage Jail and charged with second-degree terroristic threatening made in connection to an event scheduled at the Williwaw Social.

Charging documents from the Department of Law showed that Lych authored a post on Wednesday on Instagram that read, in part, “I’m gonna shoot up the spot,” referring to the club that was hosting an event being put on by Showdown Alaska, an independent promotional company.

Two other witnesses called police to report the concerning comments and said they knew Lych, according to charging docs. Officers were then able to find Lych by pinging his ankle monitor, which he was wearing for a previous felony DUI charge.

Upon meeting Lych at his work, police said that he knew why they were there and proceeded to tell investigators that he had been drinking with friends on Wednesday night and was “upset about seeing an advertisement for the event” at the Williwaw Social.

According to documents, Lych told police that he did not actually plan to shoot up the place and did not have access to guns. He said he deleted the original post.

A person involved with Showdown Alaska was also reported to have spoken with investigators, according to the documents, and said they took “extreme caution” with the threat due to the recent mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, which took the lives of 18 people.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Showdown Alaska acknowledged that “serious threats of violence” were made against Williwaw and the event that is scheduled for Friday night and thanked law enforcement agencies for apprehending the person involved to maintain a safe evening.

“The safety and well-being of our patrons have always been our top priority, and we are committed to providing a secure and enjoyable experience for everyone who visits Williwaw,” the post read. “... Williwaw and Showdown Alaska would like to reiterate that we maintain a strict zero-tolerance policy for any form of violence or threats made against our establishment and business. We intend to pursue all necessary legal actions to address this threat to the fullest extent.”