ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Surveillance video obtained today by KTUU shows the moments leading up to a fatal gunfight between Anchorage police and accused serial killer James Dale Ritchie.
I screengrab from the Nov. 12 dashboard camera video of Anchorage Police Officer Arn Salao. Salao encountered accused serial killer James Dale Ritchie in downtown Anchorage while investigating an unrelated call. Police say Ritchie opened fire on Salao moments later.
The footage above was captured early on the morning of Nov. 12, just a couple of hours into the shift of Officer Arn Salao. Salao, who was investigating a report of unpaid cab fare downtown, noticed a man walking alone and attempted to stop him.
The man would later be revealed to be Ritchie, a 40-year-old former East High basketball and football star who police say was responsible for five outdoor murders in 2016. On the police surveillance video, Salao can be heard musing Ritchie doesn't seem to want to stop.
Also today, Anchorage police answered several longstanding questions about the investigation into Ritchie, who is accused of killing Brianna Foisy, Jason Netter, Treveonkindell Thompson, Bri DeHusson and Kevin Turner along city trails and streets.
Among the new details from APD Capt. Bill Miller:
-- Ritchie had acquired the Colt Python used in the shootings before he left Alaska to live with his parents in Virginia. "When he left Alaska he gave the gun to an acquaintance," Miller wrote. Ritchie retrieved the gun when he came back to Anchorage in early 2016. It's unclear who kept the revolver while Ritchie was out of state.
-- Ritchie lived in Airport Heights for a time before moving to Penland Parkway trailer park at the time of his death.
-- Among the 175 tips that police received after releasing a sketch of Ritchie -- who was then described only as an unknown "person of interest" in the July 29 killing of Thompson -- was at least one tip that named Ritchie as a suspect.
-- Ritchie had sought mental health treatment but police do not know if he received a medical diagnosis.
The .357 Colt Python police say James Dale Ritchie used to kill 5 people in 2016. APD says he obtained it years ago. pic.twitter.com/pzxcoJLGSx— Kyle Hopkins (@kylehopkinsAK) May 23, 2017
People close to the investigation have told KTUU that Ritchie had turned his cell phone off prior to at least some of the killings. Police would not confirm nor deny that claim, citing a desire to protect investigative tactics and techniques.
The video provided by Anchorage police ends just before detectives say Ritchie opened fire on Salao, striking him four times with a .357 Colt Python. Salao survived and returned fire, along with Sgt. Marc Patzke.
Police declined to publicly release video of the gunfight, citing "the reasonable expectation of privacy of the victim (Officer Salao) and the suspect/defendant (James Dale Ritchie in the form of his estate) and witnesses (Officer Salao and Sgt. Patzke.)"
Ritchie was killed at the scene.
KTUU will air a special report on the outdoor killings at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 7 on the Justice Network (Channel 2.2).