Anchorage police say a male suspect was wounded and an officer was grazed by a bullet during a Thursday morning shootout at a hotel near Merrill Field, prompting an afternoon standoff that closed parts of 3rd and 5th Avenues to traffic.
According to APD spokesperson Lt. Dave Parker the man, who surrendered to police on the second floor of the Merrill Field Inn at 420 Sitka St. shortly after 1:15 p.m., was subsequently arrested and taken to a hospital under police escort. The avenues were reopened to traffic around 1:20 p.m.
Police say the incident began Thursday morning, when officers were in the area for a follow-up investigation of a string of burglaries. According to Parker, multiple officers were questioning a man and a woman inside one of the rooms at the inn when a third person, the suspect, began firing from the bathroom.
The officers returned fire against the suspect, while evacuating the man and the woman.
"They were taken out of the room by the officers as they retreated," Parker said.
One officer was hit with a graze wound to the back and taken to the hospital around 11:30 a.m. Parker said Thursday afternoon that the suspect's right arm was hit in the exchange.
Police evacuated the area and set up snipers on the inn's roof, with a tactical vehicle in the vicinity.
A Merrill Field Inn housekeeper told Channel 2 he had just started his shift at the time of the incident, and that workers were entering rooms to clean them when APD arrived. Occupants of the inn were initially told to stay in their rooms, not go anywhere and keep their heads down.
A woman staying at the inn said she heard something that sounded like firecrackers, causing her as well as her son and boyfriend to lie down. A SWAT officer subsequently came to their door, then had them crawl through a hole in a fence as they evacuated the building.
Mew says the incident is being treated as an officer-involved shooting, since the suspect was also injured. In accordance with APD policy, the names of the officers involved will not be released for three days.