Man dead in early-morning shooting; suspect in custody
A suspect is now in custody after one person was killed Wednesday in an early-morning shooting at a Midtown apartment complex, according to Anchorage police.
Police issued a statement about the incident on the 800 block of West 29th Avenue, off Arctic Boulevard just south of Benson Boulevard, at about 5:15 a.m. One victim was reported inside a residence.
“Part of West 29th Avenue around the residence will be closed,” police wrote. “Residents should expect (a) large police presence.”
Police spokesman MJ Thim told KTVA Wednesday morning that the shooting was first reported at about 4:15 a.m. First responders found the victim in a second-floor apartment.
"Officers got to the scene (and) found an adult male with a gunshot wound; he died at the scene," Thim said.
According to court documents, two 9mm shell casings were found near the victim's body.
Witnesses who spoke with police had inconsistent accounts, Thim said but identified a male suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Anthony Aumua.
Another resident along West 29th, Solomon James, said the shooting isn't the first violence he's seen in the area.
"I shouldn't have to be over here worried for my life," James said. "I live down the street, two apartment complexes over. One day I actually had one of the crackheads pull a gun on me as I'm headed out for work... This street is home, and sad to say that home has now turned into a ghetto, a straight-up ghetto."
A man who manages a nearby apartment complex, who didn't want to be identified, said he carried a concealed weapon due to the dangers of the neighborhood. He said the shooting has "just been a matter of time, I guess."
Thim said APD partnered with the Anchorage School District to get kids in the neighborhood to and from school safely.
A warrant was served at the apartment so that APD could collect evidence. Police left the scene about 12 hours after arriving, Thim said.
Anchorage police sent out a Nixle alert Wednesday afternoon asking for the public's help to find Aumua. Around 5:30 p.m. police received a tip from a caller saying Aumua walked into the ACF Church, located in Eagle River, and admitted to the crime, Thim wrote.
Officers from multiple units responded and coordinated a plan to get Aumua out of the church. He ended up surrendering peacefully and was taken into custody for questioning. Thim confirmed the suspect did not live in the apartment complex.
Aumua faces multiple charges including Murder in the first-degree.
According to police spokeswoman Nora Morse, Wednesday's shooting marks Anchorage's 30th homicide of 2017 versus 23 reported by the same date in 2016 -- a year with more than 30 homicide deaths, breaking a record set in 1995. The city's year-on-year homicide death toll overtook last year's in a triple murder on Spenard Road last month.
Daniella Rivera and Rick Rysso contributed information to this story.