Saturday, May 25, 2013
Weekend Violence Ups 2011 Homicide Tally to 12
Police have dubbed an assault, a shooting and a fatal stabbing over the Halloween weekend as an “explosion of violence.”
It all started around 7 p.m Friday when reports of an assault at a south Anchorage home turned into murder charges for 35-year-old Joshua David Wagner.
The next evening, it happened again with a shooting at the Millenium Hotel. Less than 24 hours after that, police responded to yet another fatal stabbing in a downtown back alley, bringing the total number of Anchorage homicides this year to 12.
"You never know,” said Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz, a member of the Anchorage Police Department’s Homicide Unit. “You may go a few months without a homicide and then you have an explosion of violence."
While the explosion of violence over the Halloween weekend shocked the Anchorage community, detectives said the city is actually below average compared with years past.
“I recall cases where we have five homicides in four days,” Markiewicz said.
In fact, detectives said Anchorage has seen 50 percent fewer homicides this year compared to this same time last year.
Not only are there fewer homicides, but the cases are being solved faster, too.
While there are still five unsolved homicides dating back to 2010, this year is a different story.
"We are closing the books on just about every homicide except for one this year,” said APD Crime Prevention Specialist Anita Shell. “Our detectives have worked hard, they've got good information from people, they've been able to make good prosecutable cases."
Despite the recent slew of crime, detectives said it is getting better.