Death jolts final hour of AFN convention

A man committed suicide at the Dena’ina convention center during the final hour of the AFN annual convention on Saturday. Anthony Chouette, 49, climbed over the third floor railing and jumped to his death.

–Original story–

According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Anchorage Police identified the man Sunday, as Anthony Choquette, age 49.

His body fell to the first floor where hundreds of attendees were gathered.

At first it sounded as if a gun had gone off.

On the third floor, many rushed to look over. Police were on the scene within a few minutes.

AFN President Julie Kitka and a member of the board of directors spoke with an Anchorage police officer moments later.

The incident was announced to attendees in the main convention room.

Officials cordoned off the scene. Anchorage Police and Dena’ina Center staff evacuated parts of building. Events in the main convention room continued at first, though the convention was already winding down.

Marvin Roberts, a recently released member of the Fairbanks Four, took the stage minutes after the accident.

Co-chair Ana Hoffman invited a gospel singing group to the stage to offer comfort to those still in the main room. A dance group from Juneau finished out the convention.

The annual AFN banquet was cancelled.