AMYA director: Victim in string of murders had bright future ahead of him
Elijah Zeller, 18, was among the three young men who died in a string of murders in the past week in Anchorage.
Anchorage police say someone dropped Zeller off at a hospital early Saturday morning, bleeding from a gunshot wound. He died there hours later.
Zeller attended the Alaska Military Youth Academy (AMYA) and graduated in February.
“For him it was an opportunity to make things go in a direction that was going to be positive, and we saw that that was actually happening with him,” said James Jones, deputy director with AMYA.
Jones said Zeller spent six months learning several trade skills, and was recruited by several employers after graduating.
“They wanted him to be part of their program — carpenters, electrical iron workers, laborers, all wanted him,” Jones said. “He was doing very, very well.”
Jones said he was shocked to hear the news of his death.
“He’s not a statistic,” Jones said. “He came from a family who really supported him, loved him. He was a twin, had a twin sister, and now this family has to bear the grief of losing a son at age 18.”
He said more needs to be done help stop this violence.
“What can we do to make a difference in the lives of these young men and women?” he asked.
No suspects have been arrested in connection to his death.
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