APD: Woman dies after being run over by man with stolen vehicle
A woman has died after being hit by a car outside of the Brother Francis Shelter on April 26. Police allege the man who was driving a stolen vehicle hit the woman and another pedestrian intentionally.
A week later, Anchorage police identified the woman as 59-year-old Veronique Long.
The incident is being investigated as a homicide.
The Anchorage Police Department said Friday 23-year-old Duop Tharjiath stole a black Pontiac while the vehicle was outside of Cash America in Mountain View at 11:50 a.m. and the keys were left inside.
According to a release, Tharjiath was sitting inside the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the shelter over four hours later. He put the vehicle in reverse and ran over a woman and also glanced off a man near her. Tharjiath then put the car into drive and crashed into a shipping container.
According to court documents, Anchorage police viewed video footage of the collision which showed Tharjiath speeding when he struck both victims.
Investigators say the two people struck were clients of the Brother Francis Shelter. Initial reports state Tharjiath did not know either of them, but that it appears the crash was intentional.
Officers arrived shortly after the incident. The woman was taken to a hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, according to APD. In an update Saturday, police said the woman's condition had worsened and she died at the hospital.
Tharjiath was not injured during the collision. He was arrested and taken to the Anchorage jail on multiple charges of assault, theft and vehicle theft, reckless endangerment and violation of conditions of release. He also faces a manslaughter charge.
Police are still trying to figure out a motive and why Tharjiath was in the parking lot. Alcohol and drugs are not considered factors at this time.
In Saturday's release, APD stated the prosecutor has the right to make changes to the charges against Tharjiath.
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