APD Alleges Man Pointed Gun Before Second Deadly Shooting of 2013

Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew press conference April 8, 2013.
Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew press conference April 8, 2013.

Anchorage Police Department officials say the man shot and killed by officers in a downtown supermarket parking lot Friday night had a semi-automatic handgun. The man was identified as Detlef Wulf, a 27 year old with a long criminal record. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton has the story.

Friday night a security guard called police to report a possibly drunk man slumped over the wheel of a sports utility vehicle, at the Carr’s grocery store in Fairview. According to Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew, the officers approached the vehicle, rapped on the window of the SUV and saw that the man inside had a semi-automatic handgun. Mew describes what happened.

“Things went very fast from there. They hollered at the person behind the wheel, who we now know to be Mr. Wulf to put his hands up. Instead of doing that, he produced the gun, cracked the car door open, raised the gun, leaned over his shoulder and pointed at the closest officer. And, at that point, both officers returned fire.”

The victim was identified as Detlef Wulf, age 27. Mew says officers boxed the car in and illuminated the area before approaching, because they believed the man could be intoxicated and they wanted to prevent him from driving away. The shooting happened just before backup arrived. Five shots were fired by two officers. An autopsy is underway. Wulf had a long record with the courts stretching back to 2000 with many cases involving alcohol and weapons. Chief Mew says law enforcement leaders are very concerned about the increasing number of officer involved shootings in Anchorage.

“In 2012, we had five officer involved shootings. That’s the most we’ve ever had, as far back as we could count. Two of those were fatal. Three of them were not fatal. That same year, State Troopers had eight, which I think is very high for them too. We’re both concerned and trying to determine how to attribute that. Is society getting more violent? Are our officers acting quicker? You know, I don’t know the answers to those questions yet.”

crime fact sheetSo far in 2013, the APD has had three officer involved shootings, two of them fatal. In January, officers attended a ‘use-of-force’ training. The state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals is investigating Friday’s shooting. Officers must be in fear of immanent, serious physical injury or death to themselves or a third person in order to legally use deadly force.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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