Family of home invasion murder victim speaks out, 4 suspects arrested
Last updated at 7:39 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29
A woman who was shot after answering the door of her northeast Anchorage home last Thursday has died, according to the Anchorage Police Department.
Paula Zorawski, 40, was shot in the head on Sept. 22 during an apparent home invasion on Alora Loop. Her family in New York made a cross-country trip to be with her in the hospital after they got the news.
“You know what it’s like to get a phone call that your daughter was shot in the head?” asked Rose Gentile, Zorawski’s mother. “Why? I don’t understand. She came out to see what they wanted in front of her house, and she didn’t have a chance to even ask them what they wanted.”
Zorawski was pronounced dead at the hospital Wednesday as a result of her injuries, police wrote in a Thursday release. Police have arrested four people in connection with the shooting, after 19-year-old Alonzo Tofpi Steward turned himself in at APD headquarters Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday, 18-year-old Savon Berry was arrested at home and charged with assault, robbery and misconduct involving a controlled substance. Michael Fitzgerald and Tommy Hunter Higgs III, both 18, were arrested on Sept. 23 and face similar charges. The district attorney will amend the charges for all four men to include second-degree murder, according to Thursday’s release.
“I know these kids have families too, but I’m sorry. You took my kid’s life and I don’t feel sorry for them,” said Gentile. “They left a mother, her children behind. She has a 14-year-old daughter … Do you know how hard it was to have to tell her that her mother was going to heaven?”
Zorawski’s death marks Anchorage’s 27th homicide, says APD spokesperson Anita Shell — just three murders away from breaking the record for deadliest year in the municipality.
Barbara Digregorio, Zorawski’s sister, says last week’s homicide was a senseless act of violence, all for nothing. Charging documents say the suspects believed there were drugs and money inside the house, but after Zorawski was shot, they fled from the home on foot.
“At the end they never accomplished anything but taking someone’s life away,” Digregorio said.
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