Updated at 6:05 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23


The shooting death of a 24-year-old man in early-December has been ruled a homicide by Anchorage police.


On Dec. 13, Travonne Tyki Ward was dropped off at a local emergency room with a gunshot wound. A short time later, he was declared deceased, the Anchorage Police Department wrote in a release.


“After police arrived at the hospital, an officer saw a Volkswagen in the hospital’s parking lot which matched the description of the vehicle that had dropped off the victim,” APD said.


The vehicle’s female driver was taken to police headquarters for questioning.


In an investigation police learned that Ward and the driver were with 19-year-old Richard E. Helme and another passenger at the time of the shooting. Police said Helme fired a handgun and the bullet struck Ward in the head.


Then Helme and the passenger fled on foot, while the driver took Ward to the emergency room.


In an affidavit filed Friday, Helme told police the two were friends and that the gun went off when he was handing it to Ward.


Helme was arrested on Friday for manslaughter, weapons misconduct and evidence tampering charges. His bail will be set at his arraignment.


Anchorage has had 31 homicide victims this year, the highest amount of homicides the city has ever seen.