ANCHORAGE, Ak. – Police in Alaska were left no choice but to fatally shoot a suspect who had fired a gun at officers and then attacked a police K9 with a sword on Monday, Anchorage Daily News reported.
Police say the tense situation began when officers were called out to Wildberry Loop for reports of a “suspicious person with a gun” just after 2 p.m. Monday. Police Chief Justin Doll told the press that units received word that the suspect was “under the influence of drugs and threatening suicide and had pointed the weapon at more than one person.”
— Tactical Dog (@TacticalDogLive) August 27, 2019
Doll said that as officers arrived, the suspect was immediately dismissive of lawful orders that were given to him. He stood by a vehicle holding his weapon, ignoring the officers’ calls to put down the weapon. Instead of complying, the suspect turned and walked toward a house and attempted to open the front door.
Officers say that the door was locked, so the suspect fired a round into one of the windows so that he could gain entry to the home. Then, he “turned around, pointed his gun at responding officers, and fired a shot,” before climbing through the window, police noted in a report of the incident.
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According to Chief Doll, police assisted three civilians in leaving the home that the suspect had entered and were able to get them to safety. Police continued to evacuate houses in the area as a SWAT team responded to the home.
That began a 4-hour standoff with the armed man, Doll said.
— Anchorage Daily News (@adndotcom) August 27, 2019
Negotiators were unsuccessful in their attempts to get the suspect to surrender, and so around 6:35 p.m., SWAT officers deployed chemical agents into the residence.
That’s when the suspect came barging through a rear window armed with a large sword, police said. And he charged straight at officers at the scene with the sword, stabbing and injuring the K9.
Police immediately responded with force.
“He attacked the police K9 with a sword and was shot by the SWAT officer,” Doll said.
The man was transported to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after 7 p.m. authorities noted. The police dog was immediately taken to an animal hospital to be treated for its injuries and is expected to survive, Anchorage Daily News confirmed.
The suspect’s identity has not yet been released by Anchorage authorities. No other officers reported any injuries from the deadly standoff.
A family of a schizophrenic man who was killed in a standoff with police in June are speaking out for the first time since the incident occurred.
Russell and Paola French both suffered gunshot wounds when they tried to intervene and protect their son Kenneth French, 32, during the deadly June 14 incident, they confirmed.
The parents made their statements after LAPD officer Salvador Sanchez claimed he was holding his 1½-year-old son while checking out at the store when Kenneth violently attacked him.
“I told Officer Sanchez not to shoot twice. I even said please,” Paola said Monday, fighting back tears. “I was pleading for my son and our lives, but I was still shot in the back.”
Russell, who lost a kidney after the shooting and was just released from the hospital last week, said that the shooting was in no way justified.
“I begged and told him not to shoot. I said we had no guns and my son is sick…He still shot,” the dad said.
Family members weighed in without consideration for the attack that happened on the off-duty officer.
“I just can’t understand how someone can walk into a Costco, kill my brother, shoot both my parents, shoot my mom in her back, and then be able to go home that same night and sleep on their pillow,” brother Kevin French said.
The family members spoke out for the first time as they filed a claim against both Sanchez and the LAPD, in what is a necessary precursor to a lawsuit.
The family’s attorney, Dale Galipo, acknowledged Monday that Kenneth French likely delivered an “open-handed push or slap” to the officer’s back, but was adamant that it was not an attack.
He and his clients urged authorities to release surveillance footage and cellphone video from the scene and said Sanchez should face murder or manslaughter charges.
A Riverside County judge ordered the video sealed for one year due to the investigation.
Sanchez’s lawyer Ira Salzman said the officer was assaulted and “acting in self-defense.”
“It’s a horrible tragedy for both families,” Salzman said.
A Riverside County judge ordered the video sealed for one year due to the investigation. There has been no indication from prosecutors as to whether they will pursue criminal charges.
Corona police have said French attacked the officer without provocation.
A trained police officer should know how to deescalate that type of interaction before opening fire, “especially when you’re in Costco and there are children,” Galipo said.
Paola French called her son a “peaceful and loving soul.”
Sanchez, a seven-year veteran of the force, remained on paid administrative leave Monday.
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