ANCHORAGE, Alaska Fireworks on New Year's Eve lit the way to hope of more peaceful times on the streets of Anchorage, after a 2017 that saw the city reach a new record high for homicides.
Vehicle being south by police in connection with homicide (photo from Anchorage Police Dept.)
That hope was shattered just 16-minutes after midnight, with gunfire at the corner of 4th Avenue and D Street downtown.
39-year old Timothy Smith was found with several gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
More than three months later, the first homicide in Anchorage in 2018 remains unsolved.
"It's not fair. I just really want justice to be served for him and for his family" said Christina Helgeson, Smith's ex-wife. "We deserve to know why they did it, and for that person to pay for what they did."
Helgeson said Smith was a loving father to his two sons and her four children. She said Smith was born raised in Anchorage, graduated from Dimond High School, was a construction worker by trade, and was a volunteer and coach with Pop Warner youth football.
"He loved to make people laugh. He was always willing to help people out no matter what it was. He was a good dad," said Helgeson.
On Tuesday, APD re-released security camera images of a silver or gray Chevy Trailblazer SUV, that police say was seen near the shooting seen.
"Surveillance footage in the area shows that the trailblazer was in the area at the time of the shooting, so we think that the people inside could help us," said Renee Oistad, Anchorage Police Department spokesperson.
Anchorage Police are asking anyone with information about the vehicle, or the crime, to contact them at 3-1-1, or to remain anonymous you may contact Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP.
"There's a family who suffered a terrible loss," said Oistad, "and they don't have any type of closure whatsoever, so any help that anyone else out there who has that information could provide would help the family, those who are left behind, who have to pick up the pieces and learn to find a new normal in their life and continue to function without someone that they loved very much."