Suspect in Sitka shooting charged with assault

Sitka police arrested man Saturday evening after a two-hour manhunt for allegedly shooting another man.

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Nathan Leask, 35, was charged with one felony count of first-degree assault and one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was medevaced to Seattle for treatment.

The Sitka Police Department received a call at 5:40 p.m. Saturday that a shooting occurred on a commercial fishing boat in Eliason Harbor.

Officers arrived to find a man with a gunshot wound to the thigh and an uninjured woman.

Armed with a handgun, Leask entered the vessel occupied by the victim, according to an police department news release. An altercation occurred and Leask’s firearm was discharged during the fight. Leask then fled the scene.

An hour after the initial call, Sitka police received word that the shooter was inside the Blatchley Middle School pool area — though that later proved to be untrue.

School staff received information from a third-hand source that a shooting had occurred, Police Chief Jeff Ankerfelt said. Staff activated a lock-down procedure and evacuated the school as a precaution.

Police arrived at the scene and searched the area, but Leask was not there.

At no time was there a man with a gun in the school, according to the release.

Officers searched multiple locations over the course of two hours, and imposed a city-wide lock-down. They advised all residents to stay indoors. They ultimately zeroed in on Leask at an undisclosed home address.

Ankerfelt said Leask surrendered to officers after negotiations over the telephone and was in police custody by 7:30 p.m.

Leask is currently being held in Sitka Jail with bail set at $100,000.