Son Says Father Shot by Police Says He Wanted Father to go to API (Updated with officers names)
UPDATE: The officers involved in the shooting of Harry Smith were Michael Jones and Bryan Heinz, according to APD. Both officers were placed on mandatory 72 hour leave after the shooting took place.
ANCHORAGE - The Office of Special Prosecutions is investigating whether the shooting of 59-year-old Harry Smith on Sunday night was justified.
Police fired on Smith in his backyard after he pointed a Smith & Wesson M&P .177 caliber airgun at officers.
Smith's son, Russell, says he warned police officers that his father had a b-b gun and was suicidal.
“He's been struggling ever since the death of my mother two years ago,” said Smith.
On Sunday night, Russell Smith called Anchorage police when his father became out of control.
“The dispatcher told me that they're here and told me to leave the house at this point if I had known what was going to happen I would never have left the house I would've went on the back porch and I would've protected my father at whatever cost,” said Smith.
Smith says he hoped by calling the police that his father would be taken to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute for help.
"I went across the street and I explained the situation to the group of SWAT officers that were gathered there I let them know that my father had said that he was going to trick them into shooting him,” said Smith.
"I told them about the b-b gun I described the b-b gun to them, I said, he is trying to get you to kill him; please do not kill my father. I need to get him help and to no avail instead of helping my father they went in the backyard and gunned him down."
APD says it won't comment on whether officers were told about the b-b gun at the scene until the investigation is complete.