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2 officers injured by gunfire at Hillside standoff, suspect not in custody

(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 21, 2016 at 10:59 AM AKDT
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UPDATE:12:50 p.m.

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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 more 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.

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m.

What sounded like several rounds of gunfire could be heard at the scene of an armed standoff on Ginami Street off Upper Huffman Road at about noon today.

SWAT team members could be seen running down the road.

Police took an ambulance to the scene just a few moments ago.

More updates to come.

-- Paula Dobbyn / KTUU
UPDATE: 10:25 a.m.:

The Anchorage Police Department and SWAT team members remain on-site of the standoff that's now been going for a full day.

The 69-year-old man who has barricaded himself in his home has still not been taken into custody, according to the APD's Jennifer Castro, although police have spoken with him.

Ginami Standoff

Posted by Channel 2 News, KTUU.com on Thursday, September 22, 2016

While officer numbers were reduced overnight, there is a possibility that other resources could be moved in, Castro said.

Police and SWAT crews on location now are in "constant evaluation mode ... because of the man's actions yesterday," she said.

The man, whom police have not publicly identified, is accused of firing several rounds at a tree trimming crew.

Castro added that gas and other non-lethal methods have been used multiple times overnight, but no shots have been fired by officers during the same time period.

A neighbor of the barricaded man told Channel 2 he has not been allowed inside his residence yet. The public is not being allowed down the one-way section of Ginami where the home is located, and the intersection in the area is crowded.

Officers are still asking that people avoid the area near Upper Huffman Rd. and Ginami St.

-- Beth Verge / KTUU
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: 7:10 a.m.:

A standoff between police and an armed man barricaded inside a South Anchorage home remains ongoing after nearly 24 hours.

Officers and a SWAT team are still on scene trying to get the man to leave the residence, APD said in a morning update. Police said they’ve been able to verbally communicate with the man, but he has refused to come out of his residence.

“Others efforts have been made to push his peaceful surrender including gas deployment into his home; none of those efforts have been successful at this time,” police wrote in a morning release.

The road remains closed but residents living nearby have been able to access their homes, police say. The standoff is ongoing.

FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE: 10:30 p.m:

Channel 2's Dan Carpenter reports that at about 9:50 Wednesday evening, three loud bangs were heard. APD confirms that was tear gas being deployed. At around 10:15 p.m., another loud bang was heard and a bright flash of light was seen. APD says that was a "flash-bang" device being used. As of 10:35 pm, the man barricaded in his home had still not surrendered.

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

Police say a barricaded suspect fired shots at officers who were preparing to deploy gas to try to dislodge the man from his South Anchorage home.

No injuries have been reported and efforts toward a peaceful surrender will continue, according to Anchorage police.

The suspect fired on officers after 4 p.m.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Police and SWAT are attempting to find and make contact with a man who fired several rounds at a tree trimming crew in South Anchorage on Wednesday morning, police say.

According to APD spokeswoman Anita Shell, the man came outside of a residence on the 12000 block of Ginami Street saying he did not want the tree trimmers on his property before shooting at them.

The workers called 911 at 9:30 a.m. to report the incident. No injuries were reported.

Multiple officers are on scene trying to make contact with the shooter. It’s unknown if he is still inside the residence and officers are trying to locate him, Shell said.

Police are asking the public to avoid the area.

The tree cutters were contractors with Chugach Electric, and were clearing vegetation from a nearby corridor of public land known as a transmission right-of-way, which is where transmission lines are constructed.

According to Chugach Electric spokeswoman Julie Hasquet, the work was not related to Tuesday night’s storm and is part of year-round efforts to keep the transmission lines on the right-of-way clear of potential debris. The tree cutters had been working there for several hours and were not on private property when they were fired at, Hasquet said.

According to Hasquet, Chugach Electric mails written notices to nearby homeowners before tree cutters arrive to work in their neighborhoods.