Suspect in Midtown shooting told APD he was ‘dancing with the gun in his hand’
An Anchorage woman is fighting for her life at a local hospital following a shooting at Alpine Apartments on Mockingbird Drive. Family members of Deborah Walunga, 20, were in Anchorage jail court Sunday afternoon for the arraignment of suspect Joseph Lock, 22.
Court documents state Anchorage Police responded to the apartment complex early Saturday morning and found Walunga had been hit by a bullet that entered her lower back and exited near her shoulder, puncturing her heart.
Investigators say the bullet came from the apartment directly below her — where Lock lives and was reportedly hosting a party. APD says Lock initially told investigators during a mirandized interview that he only heard the shot and did not know who fired it — then later admitted it was him. He said several people he does not know showed up to the party and one of them brought a pistol and showed it to him. He said he checked to make sure it wasn’t loaded, then fired it at a stuffed giraffe and returned it to the man who brought it.
Lock told APD later, while handling the gun again, he assumed it was still unloaded and was “dancing with the gun in his hand and accidentally fired it into the ceiling.” He said he then dropped the gun, and the man who brought it, picked it up and ran out. Lock admitted to consuming a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana before handling the firearm.
“The gun is missing,” the prosecutor, Kevin Bergt, told the judge in court. He said investigators found a 45-caliber gun and a separate 10 mm shell casing inside Lock’s apartment, and that Lock has been uncooperative, answering questions untruthfully for an hour during his interview with police. He also said investigators found tissue stuffed inside the bullet hole in the ceiling — something they believe was “an attempt to cover it up.”
Walunga’s aunt told the judge he’s a “monster,” and “menace to society,” over the phone while asking for a higher bail. The victim’s mother was present and testified, saying, “What this individual did, stabbed me deep in my heart, because of what he did to my daughter who is fighting for her life right now. I ask that you give him the highest bail you can. This is uncalled for. Who takes a gun to a party?”
Bergt pointed to a drug possession charge Lock failed to appear for in the Lower 48 and the fact that the victim in the case might not survive as evidence Lock could be a flight risk. The judge set a $20,000 cash bond for Lock.
Lock appeared for his arraignment with words on his arms that appeared to be written with a sharpie marker. Only the words, “F*ck you” were discernible. He attempted to address Walunga’s family in court, but, was only able to say, “I’m sorry. It made me break down,” before the judge cut him off, suggesting he wait until he’s appointed an attorney before making statements in court.
Lock is charged with first degree assault, a class A felony. If convicted he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Bergt says investigators are still hoping to speak to more witnesses and recover the missing firearm. If you have any information, you’re asked to call APD.
An earlier version of this story said a shell casing was found in Walunga’s apartment. It was found in Lock’s apartment. The story has been corrected.
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