Anchorage police shot and killed a man wielding a stick during a confrontation in Mountain View Saturday evening, after he approached officers and repeatedly failed to follow their commands.
APD spokesperson Lt. Dave Parker says officers responded shortly before 9:30 p.m. to reports of a disturbance on the 700 block of North Bunn Street, where callers said a man with a stick had yelled at passing cars and attacked a neighbor’s dog.
Officers encountered the man -- 26-year-old Shane Tasi -- in the yard of an apartment complex and ordered him to drop the stick, but he continued to aggressively approach them.
Parker said the confrontation between Tasi and the officers occurred at relatively short range.
“He was very close, and it was a very small yard,” Parker said.
One officer shot Tasi with his service pistol. Tasi was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead after efforts to save his life were unsuccessful.
The incident is under investigation by APD homicide detectives and crime-scene investigators. In accordance with APD policy, the name of the officer who fired on Tasi will not be released for three days.
Many in the Mountain View neighborhood witnessed the shootings or heard three shots fired like Pavii Tanuvasa, 15.
"Too, too close for comfort," said Tanuvasa, whose brother Frank Tanuvasa was shot and killed by police in Palm Desert, California, who say he was fleeing the scene of a burglary. Tanuvasa had been a football star at East High School in Anchorage, with dreams of playing in the N.F.L.
"For a family, I understand how it feels. Same tragedy happened to my brother," said Tanuvasa.
Another brother, T.J. Tanuvasa was trying to put some distance from the shooting on Bunn Street. He strummed on his ukulele as he watched police work the crime scene from across the street.
"I guess he was rolling with the wrong friends at the wrong time. Wrong place. I guess he just caught up with the police," said Tanuvasa of his brother, Frank.
Both Tanuvasa brothers say they are trying hard not to get emotional over this latest shooting, because they're still working through the pain of their brother's death.
But others in the neighborhood want to know more about why police used deadly force.
The officer who shot Tasi did not have a taser. APD says not all officers are equipped with the weapons, which stun instead of kill. Supervisors have them, but no officers armed with tasers had reached the scene yet.
"What we seek to do is preserve life, as best we can, preserve life," said Lt. Dave Parker. "It's always a very difficult decision for an officer to take, to use deadly force."