Anchorage police shot and killed a man Monday after he allegedly pointed what looked like a handgun at officers. They later discovered it was a BB gun.
According to Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll, the incident started in midtown.
“We started getting some calls from Anchorage residents in the area of Walmart on A Street, about a subject who appeared to have a handgun and was waving it around,” the police chief said.
Doll said the subject was described to police as an adult male wearing a “puffy jacket.” He boarded a bus, getting off a few blocks later near the intersection of A Street and 16th Avenue, according to police.
Doll said officers arrived in the area and “made contact” with the suspect, who turned around and walked towards the officers. Police said he disobeyed verbal commands, produced a handgun from his waistband area and pointed it towards officers. Three officers fired and the man was hit, police said. Officers provided first aid and responding medics transported the man to a hospital, where he later died.
According to Doll there were no bystanders in the area. He says the incident unfolded in seconds. It wasn’t until police began investigating the scene that they learned the pistol was actually a replica-style BB gun.
“It looks pretty much identical to a real firearm,” Doll said.
The victim was identified on Tuesday afternoon as 31-year-old Bishar Hassan. He’d recently been arrested in connection with charges of harassment stemming from a 2018 incident at a cannery in Unalaska. Court records show he bailed out about a week ago.
This is the second officer-involved shooting in Anchorage so far this year. The last one happened on March 7. In keeping with department rules, all three officers who fired shots have been placed on administrative leave and will be identified three days after the incident.
The Office of Special Prosecution is expected to review what happened, along with an investigation by the Anchorage Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit.