By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
10:51 AM AKST, February 28, 2013
A six-year Anchorage Police Department veteran who fired on a vehicle during a traffic stop and subsequent chase Sunday was named Thursday morning.
APD spokesperson Anita Shell says Ofc. Keo Fujimoto shot at a Dodge Charger with 34-year-old Lusia Pedro at the wheel early Sunday morning, but didn’t hit anyone. Police had received a report at about 3:15 a.m. that Pedro had shown a gun while driving, and blocked Pedro’s path with two of their own vehicles near the intersection of 5th Avenue and Karluk Street.
According to APD, Pedro then rammed one of the vehicles and drove away. A charging document claims that he nearly struck an officer during the incident, prompting police to deploy spike strips and puncture the Charger’s tires as it drove down 5th Avenue moving faster than 70 mph.
The vehicle wasn’t stopped until it turned south and eventually reached the intersection of International Airport Road and Minnesota Drive. Police say Pedro threw a loaded black handgun out of the window -- which investigators recovered -- while driving on Minnesota, and tried to run but was apprehended by Ofc. Nathan Keays and his K-9 partner, MP. Pedro was arraigned Monday on two counts of third-degree assault and one count each of third-degree misconduct involving weapons and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer.
The release of Fujimoto’s name comes slightly later than APD’s usual three-day delay for the identification of officers in officer-involved shootings. Shell said the release was delayed by police business Wednesday.
Fujimoto was one of three APD officers who fired on and killed 48-year-old Joseph Gannon in an April 2010 standoff on LaTouche Street, when police say Gannon stepped out of an apartment carrying a .177-caliber Jahre BRD air pistol, modeled to resemble a .45-caliber Colt M1911. A review of the shooting by the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals determined that the shooting was justified by state statutes.
In June 2012, APD says Fujimoto was also stabbed in the leg and cut on the forehead in a struggle with a knife-armed man, 47-year-old Edward Thompson. Fujimoto and Keays -- the officer who helped arrest Pedro Sunday -- had visited a Spenard apartment to investigate a disturbance allegedly caused by Thompson, who was arrested on assault charges after a third officer arrived and Keays struck Thompson's hand with a baton to make him drop the blade.
Police say OSPA is still investigating whether Fujimoto's use of deadly force Sunday was justified.
Channel 2's Mallory Peebles contributed information to this story.
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.
Contact Chris Klint
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