Man killed by APD had relied on Somali interpreter in court
Anchorage police have identified the man shot and killed by officers Monday evening as 31-year-old Bishar Ali Hassan, a man who has previously relied on a Somali interpreter to participate in court proceedings, according to public records.
Anchorage Police Department Chief Justin Doll said during a news conference Monday evening that police received calls about a person walking near the midtown Walmart and waving a gun around. Officers located Hassan near 16th Avenue and A Street. Doll said Hassan ignored their verbal commands, continued to walk toward them and pulled out what looked like a handgun and pointed it at officers.
Three officers shot at Hassan. APD attempted life-saving measures, but Hassan later died at the hospital.
Doll said the weapon Hassan was carrying was actually a replica-style BB gun.
According to online court records, Hassan had one criminal case which stems from an incident in Unalaska that led to a misdemeanor charge of harassment.
A criminal complaint for the case reads:
"On 02/18/18 at approximately 0105 hours, Officer Sotelo responded to a report of a possible sexual assault. Upon arrival, Officer Sotelo contacted the victim, who was identified as [victim name]. [The victim] informed Officer Sotelo that on 2/17/18 at approximately 2100 hours, she was in the Kiska building first floor in the phone booth talking to someone over the phone when an individual who was later identified as Bishar Ali Hassan approached her and tried to kiss her on the lips. [The victim] informed Officer Sotelo that she pushed him away and told him to stop. [The victim] stated that Hassan grabbed her hand and rubbed it down his abdomen. [The victim] stated she lifted her hand but Hassan pulled her hand down making [the victim] place her hand on his penis over his clothes."
According to the state Department of Corrections, Hassan has been in and out of custody multiple times since the incident. At some point, his case was moved to Anchorage.
|Location||Begin Date||End Date||Reason|
|D/CHG OUT OF SYSTEM||3/26/2019||RLS ON BAIL/BOND|
|ANCHORAGE JAIL||3/20/2019||3/26/2019||BENCH WARRANT|
|D/CHG OUT OF SYSTEM||8/25/2018||3/20/2019||RLS ON BAIL/BOND|
|ANCHORAGE JAIL||8/22/2018||8/25/2018||BENCH WARRANT|
|D/CHG OUT OF SYSTEM||3/19/2018||8/22/2018||RLS TO OWN RECOGNIZANCE|
|KODIAK PD||3/19/2018||3/19/2018||BENCH WARRANT|
*Table data provided by DOC
According to notes in the criminal case file, Hassan understood a little English, but relied on a Somali interpreter to participate in his court proceedings.
Online court records show the harassment case was set to be resolved with a plea deal this month.
DOC records indicate Hassan got picked up on a bench warrant and taken to the Anchorage jail on March 20, 2019. He was released on bail on March 26, a week before the shooting.
On Thursday, APD provided a statement to KTVA about the incident:
"We have several units with special communication tools and/or skills that are used when there is a language barrier, health issue..etc (sic) during a Call for Service and/or during our regular outreaching efforts. Those teams include our Crisis Intervention Team, Patrol Division and CAP to name a few.
"As for this particular case, applying those tools and/or skills was not an option for our officers due to the public safety threat and the officer safety threat the suspect created. It happened in a matter of seconds. The suspect was walking southbound on the east side of A Street when several officers pulled up. The officers gave orders for the suspect to stop walking. The male ignored the commands, and while continuing to advance towards the officers, pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it in the direction of officers. In response three officers fired their duty weapons multiple times; none of them were injured."
Per department policy, the names of the officers involved will be made public 72 hours after the shooting. The case will also be turned over to the state Office of Special Prosecutions for review.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a response from police.
Correction: An earlier version of this story attributed the table data to APD. It was provided by the Department of Corrections.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.
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