South Anchorage standoff over, suspect dead (Updated)

APD police cruiser (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage)
APD police cruiser (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

Updated 6:30 a.m.

A standoff in Anchorage lasting more than 36 hours came to an end Friday morning.

The Anchorage Police Department says 69-year-old Robert Musser, who was barricaded in his home, is confirmed to be deceased.

APD says an investigation and autopsy will determine the cause and nature of Musser’s death.

Updated 4:30 p.m.

Police say a barricaded standoff in Midtown Anchorage is over. According to a release from the Anchorage Police Department, 29-year-old Joseph Szajkowski surrendered shortly after 3 p.m. once officers had entered the barricaded home. Szajkowski is being held on charges of kidnapping and assault at the Anchorage Jail.

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A separate standoff at Ginami Street on the Anchorage Hillside is on-going. Jennifer Castro, a spokersperson for APD, identified the suspect as 69-year-old Robert Musser, who’s been charged with felony assault and wrecklessly firing a weapon.

Updated 2:00 p.m

Two officers have been wounded by gunshots by a barricaded suspect inĀ an on-going standoff in South Anchorage.

“One officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment where he is expected to survive,” wrote APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro in a release sent to the public at 12:48 p.m. “The other officer’s injuries were treated at the scene.”

The suspect in the Ginami Street residence is not in custody in a standoff that’s lasted for over a day.

“I’m not aware of a standoff lasting this long,” Castro said by phone from the Ginami Street location.

Shots were fired on officers around 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to APD, as police were preparing to use gas.

“The environment that we’re dealing with here is a little different from a lot of the ones that we traditionally respond to as far as barricaded subjects,” Castro said. “We have a much larger residence with a lot more things spread out.”

Though charges were announced, Castro said the department doesn’t identify suspects until they’ve been taken into custody. Castro declined to specify what kind of firearm was used against the two officers.

This is one of two barricaded standoffs happening right now in the municipality, and the third since the start of the week.

On Misty Springs Court, not far from the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, officers have been on the scene since early this morning after getting reports of an assault. The suspect is believed to be armed, and APD said in a release, it has issued charges for assault and kidnapping.

Castro said about a dozen people from APD were responding to the Misty Springs Court residence, and getting assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“A lot of our SWAT resources are dedicated over here,” Castro said, referring to the South Anchorage incident. She estimated dozens of officers had rotated through during the course of the last 24 hours, and said personnel from the Alaska State Troopers are on-scene assisting.

Asked why there’s been such an intense cluster of standoffs in the last few days, Castro responded, “We have no idea.”

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Anchorage police are still working to bring a man into custody suspected of shooting at workers trimming trees Wednesday on a utility easement.

Police initially responded to a call just before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday that a man confronted employees of Carlos Tree Service, who were trimming trees for Chugach Electric near his hillside residence.

According to an APD press release, the man yelled at the workers, then brandished a firearm and fired shots at the two employees.

The workers were not injured.

APD says the man fired shots again just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, when officers attempted to make contact with the man, who has barricaded himself in his home.

Officers eventually made verbal contact.

Efforts to resolve the situation, including the deployment of gas into the man’s home, have been unsuccessful, so far.

The situation is ongoing.