Police officer shot dead in gun battle at Alaska campground

A police officer was shot dead in a shootout with a suspect at an Alaska campground, authorities said.

The incident happened when two officers conducting a security check at the campground in Anchorage’s Centennial Park on Wednesday night came across a man they suspect had evaded police earlier, the Anchorage Police Department (APD ) in a press release.

“At some point during the encounter, the suspect pulled out a pistol and gunfire ensued,” police said.

According to the police, one officer was seriously injured, another officer was uninjured. Both officers returned fire at the suspect. The suspect was shot multiple times, police said. The wounded officer and the suspect were taken to hospital and both are expected to survive.

Stock photo. A police officer was shot dead in a shootout at a campground in Anchorage, Alaska.
iStock

Police did not identify the man but said he would be prosecuted. No details were given about what charges he could face.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave and will be identified in three days, according to police department guidelines. The State Special Prosecutor’s Office (OSP) will review officers’ use of force and determine whether it was justified.

The department’s internal affairs division then checks to see if any policy has been violated. “Once the OSP has completed its investigation, its findings will be available for public scrutiny,” police said.

Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle told reporters Wednesday night it was not clear who fired the first shot.

witnesses said so Daily news from Anchorage that around 8 p.m. they heard a barrage of gunfire. A witness, Michael Baker, said he was camping in his Subaru Outback when he saw officers driving to a nearby campground.

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“My windows are fogged up and the next thing I heard was gunshots,” Baker told the newspaper. “And then I got up and looked out, and the cop was downstairs and the other cop had the other guy on the floor.”

He said the officer pointed a gun at the man who was lying on the ground next to a van.

More than 40 pieces of evidence surrounded the van that news reported, and it had broken windows and visible bullet holes.

Centennial Park will be used as a permitted campground for people affected by homelessness following the closure of a mass accommodation facility at Sullivan Arena in late June news. City officials estimate that around 180 people have stayed at the campground continuously, while volunteers estimate the number at over 200.

In recent weeks, elected officials, lawyers and others have raised concerns about conditions and safety at the campsite.

A woman died of an overdose at the campsite last week. And a fight on Sunday sparked a major police response and led to officers being assaulted, police said.

news week reached out to the Anchorage Police Department and the Office of Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson for comment.

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