UPDATE: Standoff on Ginami St. ends; APD confirms death of suspect

 The scene at 5:30 p.m. at the Ginami Street armed standoff.
The scene at 5:30 p.m. at the Ginami Street armed standoff. (KTUU)
Published: Sep. 22, 2016 at 1:32 PM AKDT
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3:30 a.m. UPDATE:
Editor's note: An early version of this story mentions the possibility of the loud noises heard Thursday night being gunfire. APD officials said that the sounds were from flash-bang device deployment.

The Anchorage Police Dept. has confirmed that 69-year-old Robert Musser, the suspect in the standoff on the 12000 block of Ginami St. in Anchorage, has died.

An autopsy will be conducted and the medical examiner is set to take custody of the body in order to determine the nature and cause of Musser's death.

The section of Ginami St. where the standoff took place will remain closed for the next few hours as law enforcement continues to investigate.

The Hillside standoff on Ginami St. has been going on since Wednesday.

Jennifer Castro of the Anchorage Police Dept. said there has been no additional gunfire from law enforcement since Thursday around noon, and that much of the noise heard around 10 p.m. that night was a series of flash-bang deployments. Those can be set off by hand or with launchers, according to Castro.

10:30 p.m. UPDATE

Channel 2's Dan Carpenter says there was a succession of at least 14 loud pops were heard Thursday evening between 8:30 and 8:40 p.m. that could be consistent with gunfire. Anchorage Police remain on the scene as the standoff enters its second night.

Hunter Leigh Link, who's home is near where the standoff is taking place, said Thursday evening "The noises have been getting more louder and more frequent. It's kind of like danger zone over here".

Karla Kluesner who lives in the neighborhood said the dog belonging to Robert Musser, the suspect in the standoff, died this past summer. "He's a nice guy, you know we got into some nice conversations. I'm really thinking about it I think his dog was more like a therapy dog", Kluesner said. She added "I was praying this would all end in a peaceful resolution. I know they're working as hard as they can to make it a peaceful resolution but they've got to do what they've got to do."

5:30 p.m. UPDATE:

A man who remains barricaded inside his home on Anchorage’s Upper Hillside in a long standoff with police is facing felony assault and other charges.

Robert W. Musser, 69, shot at police officers on Thursday afternoon, wounding two. One was taken to the hospital with what the police chief said were non-life threatening injuries. The other was treated at the scene -- a steep, wooded neighborhood in the shadow of Flattop Mountain, a popular hiking spot.

An FBI SWAT team arrived on the scene late Thursday afternoon, joining Anchorage police and Alaska State Troopers, many of them in tactical gear.

The standoff began on Wednesday morning after Musser pointed a revolver at a man doing tree-cutting work for Chugach Electric Co. along a power line in front of Musser’s home on the 12000 block of Ginami Street. Musser fired two rounds at the man who attempted to alert a co-worker in the bucket of a boom truck, according to a charging document.

Musser fired another round as the men fled for their lives.

One of the tree trimmers told police that he asked Musser to “un-cock the gun and put it down,” according to the court document.

Musser pointed it at him and told him to get off his property.

Police responded, along with state troopers. They have been unable to dislodge Musser from the home despite using tear gas, flashbang devices, bullhorns and other tactics.

Police had conducted several welfare checks on Musser recently at the request of neighbors, said spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

Musser, a veteran, may have mental health issues and is known to have suffered some significant personal losses recently, Castro said.

Neighbors like Derrick Braught, who said he has lived next door to Musser for 13 years, have been worried about him.

“We've just noticed lately he's acting different than he's always acted. He had a dog that was a puppy when we moved in and the dog died this summer. For me, this was the time I noticed a change. We didn't see him after that,” Braught said.

Musser has fired gunshots from his home within the last couple of weeks, Braught said. Prior to that, Braught said he never had any trouble from Musser.

“I have two little kids and he’s always been friendly to them,” he said.

Tree trimmers knocked on Braught's door the other day to let his family know that they would be doing work in front of the house.

“Me and my wife thought, ‘This might be interesting when they get to Bob’s house’ because he is definitely a leave me alone, this is my property (type,)” Braught said.

In addition to felony assault, Musser is also charged at this point with firing a firearm recklessly.


Paula Dobbyn, KTUU
2:15 P.M. UPDATE:

Anchorage police have identified the barricaded man as 69-year-old Robert W. Musser.


Two police officers were shot Thursday afternoon during an armed -- and ongoing -- standoff with a barricaded man on Ginami Street in South Anchorage.

One officer was taken to the hospital with what are thought to be non-life threatening injuries. The other was treated at the scene, said Anchorage Police Chief Chris Tolley.

"The suspect is not in custody," Tolley.

Multiple rounds of gunfire rang out at around noon at the scene. Police and SWAT team members could be seen running down the road shortly afterward. An ambulance left the scene a few minutes later without flashing lights or a siren.

All that is known about the suspect is that he is a 69-year-old man who is believed to be a Vietnam veteran. Police were heard on a loud speaker earlier Thursday calling him Robert and asking him to surrender.

Tolley said there is no timeline for ending the standoff.

Police have worked with neighbors to ensure their safety and no one has been ordered to evacuate, Tolley said.

"The community is very supportive," he said.

The standoff has lasted more than 24 hours and began when a 69-year-old veteran fired on tree trimmers and later police. Police have not publicly identified the man. It's unclear if he was injured.