Police Officer Shot, Grazed by Bullet; Suspect Jason Barnum in Custody After Standoff
Shots were fired around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, but the standoff didn’t end for two hours
ANCHORAGE – An Anchorage Police officer was shot, and now the suspect, 37-year-old Jason Barnum, is in custody. He was arrested shortly after being released from the hospital early Friday morning and charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder. Barnum is scheduled to be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
More than 50 police officers, S.W.A.T. members and detectives descended on the Merrill Field Inn, and additional officers and traffic controllers shut down the neighborhood for hours.
It started around 12:30 Thursday afternoon, but the standoff didn’t end for two hours.
APD won’t release the name of the officer wounded, but sources said it was long time Senior Patrol Officer Dan Thyen, who has been with the force for more than 10 years.
There were two other people in the room where the suspect was hiding, both of whom were taken to police headquarters for questioning.
The male suspect, who has yet to be named, was taken into custody about two hours after the event began.
He was injured when officers initially returned fire. Police Chief Mark Mew said he believes the suspect was hit multiple times and possibly in both arms. Outside the room, APD spokesperson Lieutenant Dave Parker said, moaning from the suspect followed immediately after the shots.
“The fact that an officer is shot doesn't change any of the tactical considerations,” said Mew. “If anyone is shot we know we have a serious suspect that's intent on hurting people.
“We prioritize things. Our first concern is always for the innocent citizens. Second concern goes to us, third concern goes to the suspect but he gets in line after the others. We use those priorities and we try to be as methodical as the suspect allows us to be.”
The suspect was taken to Alaska Regional Hospital, where officials said he is recovering.
Thyen was taken to Providence Hospital and he was released around 2:30 p.m.
Police said their first priority was to evacuate the inn – which was done with the help of a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response (B.E.A.R) vehicle.
Parker said a S.W.A.T. officer detonated a concussion grenade inside the hotel room, after the suspect was arrested - it's a device used as a distraction so police can enter a room safely and make sure it's clear.
Witnesses said despite Thursday’s event, it won’t stop them from frequenting the area.
"No more fearful of being in this neighborhood than I was this morning before any of this happened, it could've happened anywhere,” said Clifford Gould, who lives near the inn.