Anchorage police have identified the reportedly suicidal man who surrendered at a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson gate Thursday afternoon, ending an hours-long standoff after he barricaded himself in a sport-utility vehicle with two handguns.
APD says 23-year-old Joseph Hanifin of Anchorage voluntarily surrendered shortly after 1 p.m., outside JBER's Arctic Valley Fort Richardson exit gate. Officials called it the best possible outcome to the situation.
When he surrendered Hanifin reportedly told officers, "My time is up."
Officials say Hanifin's father called APD shortly after 6 a.m. to report that his son was suicidal. Officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of Hanisin's Chevrolet Suburban in Eagle River and followed it to the Fort Richardson gate, where the standoff began at about 9 a.m.
Dozens of APD units responded to the Fort Richardson gate, including four negotiators, two K-9 units and about 30 additional officers, as well as a SWAT team and an armored truck. APD says it's the largest police and SWAT callout in more than a year.
APD says Hanifin was initially uncooperative during negotiations. At one point he asked that the armored vehicle helping to box in his own be moved, then tried to drive away once it had moved a few inches.
Prior to Thursday's incident, Hanifin had reportedly been texting family members that he wanted to kill himself.
APD and military police blocked off surrounding bike trails and other possible ways to get near the scene, saying they wanted to keep the public safe.
The Arctic Valley Fort Richardson exit gate has been closed, but APD expected it to reopen Thursday afternoon.
Suicide prevention experts say Hanifin's parents may have saved his life by calling police. Alaska often rates as one of the highest in the nation in suicides.
Alaska's Statewide Suicide Prevention Council offered this information:
Careline, Alaska's statewide suicide prevention hotline: 1-877-266-HELP (4357); text 907-2-LISTEN (547836); chat online www.carelinealaska.com
Warning signs of suicide
• Talking about wanting to die
• Looking for a way to kill oneself
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings
What to do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
• Do not leave the person alone
• Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
• Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), or 1-877-help
• Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to state the suspect's last name as Hanifin, not Hanisin.