Anchorage gangs often not affiliated with larger national gangs, police say
The teen suspect accused of fatally shooting a 15-year-old boy in Mountain View Friday evening told police he was a member of the Bloods street gang, and thought the victim, Raynaldo Khotesouvan, was affiliated with the rival Crips.
Khotesouvan’s family strongly denies that he was involved in gangs in any way.
“I can definitely tell you that he’s not a gang member,” his mother told Channel 2 on Sunday. “He was a very good kid.”
Anchorage police say the case is still under investigation, and couldn’t say if the murder was in fact gang-related. But APD did provide some general information about gang activity in Anchorage.
Lt. Jack Carson with the Safe Streets Task Force says there are local gangs operating in Anchorage, but affiliations with major national gangs are often fabricated.
“Any time you have a local gang, a lot of the time they’ll try and attach themselves to a national affiliation of a gang, but most of the time that doesn’t prove to actually be true,” Carson said. “It’s actually really rare to be affiliated with a gang down in the Lower 48. It does happen but it’s definitely the smaller of the proportion of them.”
Carson says gang activity was particularly high in the early 2000s, but has declined since then. Still, gang activity is unavoidable in a city the size of Anchorage.
“We’re always going to have gang activity within the Anchorage area," Carson said. "But I think overall we got a pretty good control on it. When things happen we’re quick to react.”