Shots fired from car lead to state, federal gun charges
A man accused of firing a gun from a car last month in South Anchorage is facing both state and federal charges, after investigators found three foreign-made rifles – including one in a violin case – inside the vehicle.
Court records show Justin Michael Thomassen, 24, facing two state counts of weapons misconduct after the May 24 traffic stop. Thomassen, who pleaded guilty to an Anchorage burglary in 2013, is also charged with a federal count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in an email that police had responded at about 2:45 p.m. on May 24 to a report of “shots being fired from a vehicle” near East 75th Avenue and Petersburg Street.
Police tracked the Ford Focus involved in the call to the parking lot of the nearby Long Branch Saloon on Dimond Boulevard, where Thomassen were taken into custody. The driver, 23-year-old driver Lucky Guerrero, was held on an unrelated warrant and cited for driving with a revoked license.
A criminal complaint against Thomassen, written by Special Agent Sarah Foreman with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said officers saw two .22-caliber rounds and “small baggies” of a white substance inside the Focus when Thomassen got out.
Another passenger in the car said she owned the vehicle, and that Guerrero was driving it with her permission.
“[The owner] said Thomassen shot a gun outside the window,” Foreman wrote. “She did not know he had a gun, and was not paying attention until he started firing out the window.”
Surveillance video from a nearby four-plex allegedly showed Thomassen loading a gray duffel bag and “what appears to be a rifle stock” into the trunk of the Focus, according to Foreman, for which officers requested and received a search warrant.
Police found three rifles inside the trunk, Foreman said, including a German-made, .22-caliber GSG 522 replica of an MP5 submachine gun. The firearm’s serial number was “obliterated,” and it was stored inside a violin case within a gray duffel bag.
Two 7.62mm weapons in the trunk were found loaded with rounds in their chambers, according to Foreman, including a Belgian-made Fabrique Nationale SCAR 17S and a Chinese Norinco SKS rifle. The SCAR, Oistad said, had been reported stolen out of Soldotna.
Thomassen was in custody Thursday at the Anchorage Jail, according to a statewide inmate database.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.